The following is
an excerpt from the meeting in which writer/director Michael
McCullers pitched his new film, Baby Mama, to two Universal
How are you, Michael? We’re so glad to see your face around
these parts given the success of Goldmember and
Undercover Brother. What took you so long to come back to
Well, I really wanted to explore my comedic ideas – you know,
give birth to a whole new type of comedy that will leave
audiences rolling but touch their hearts at the same time.
Good, good – I’ve seen it before, but how about you tell us what
you’ve come up with.
first, I must make a request of you two before I go any further.
As much as I like writing, what I really want to do is
EA: What are
MM: I will
only make this picture for Universal if you guys let me direct
it! I’ve been writing shit for you guys for years and it’s about
time I helm my own film.
fine – we’ll talk about that later. If this script is a winner,
then we’ll consider it.
EB: So give
us the pitch, Michael.
there’s this woman. And she’s having a kinda-sorta midlife
crisis, but the film pins her in a very contemporary situation:
she can’t have a baby, but she desperately wants one.
EA: And why
can’t she have a baby, Michael?
MM: Well, for
one, she’s so pinned down to her job, which involves working for
this one character who’s like… The Zen Boss, constantly
involved in gimmicky commercial ideas of Tai-Chi and Eastern
Philosophy and the like, but he’s zany enough that Steve Martin
could play him.
Steve Martin – we like that.
MM: Yeah, so
this woman is so pinned down to her job that she just can’t find
the right guy to marry because she doesn’t have enough time to
devote to a solid relationship. But she still wants a kid. So
she does all the in-vitro-fertilization and stuff, but none of
it works. She’s pretty desperate on the whole.
EA: So where
are you going with this, Michael?
MM: I’ll tell
you where I’m going. She’s working one day, scouting new
locations to put one of the health-food stores that her company
runs, and she meets this guy who owns a juice shop in the area.
EB: A juice
MM: Yeah, of
course. Kinda fruity – ahah, I just made a pun that I should
include in the script! – but they’re all the rage with the
yuppie crowd these days.
EA: Fine, but
we may have to change it to a Starbucks or something.
MM: I thought
of that, but I’ve already locked Greg Kinnear in to play the
role and his character in last year’s Feast of Love
worked at a coffee shop. I don’t want this character to seem too
nobody saw Feast of Love! They won’t know the difference.
MM: Fine –
I’ll consider making it a Starbucks, but I think that might
really cramp my style. Anyway, where was I? Oh, so our
protagonist meets this guy when she walks into his shop. And
they fall in love. And at the end of the movie, he’ll end up
impregnating her. Both they and their baby live happily ever
Michael, where’s the comedy in that story? Sounds more like
The Bridges of Madison County than a light-hearted romp to
MM: Well, I
was thinking that we would just use … well… slice-of-life
comedy. Pretty underwhelming, but totally right for the material
when you think about it. Even more so when you consider who I
want for the lead role!
MM: Hell no.
Tina Fey! So witty, so understated, such a middle-aged-woman
EA: Fine. Ms.
Fey surely has talent. But who can we market this movie to other
than middle-aged women? … They aren’t a viable enough
demographic to invest $30 million of our money in a movie
targeted at them.
EB: You may
want to consider tapping into the two biggest groups of
movie-goers: blacks and teenagers.
you’re saying more black people go to the movies than those of
other races? How the hell is that?
EB: Just look
at the Tyler Perry films. They’re comedies – just like your
movie supposedly is – and they do incredibly well. See, black
people love movies!
EA: I got it!
We’ll call the movie Baby Mama because those black
communities have a lot of baby mamas!
that a bit racist?
the one who suggested selective marketing to black
Baby Mama. But who’s the baby mama in the movie? Tina Fey’s
character can’t be a baby mama; that defeats the purpose of the
plot that Michael here has worked so hard on.
EA: Ooh! Ooh!
We’ll have Tina Fey’s best friend from “Saturday Night Live”,
Amy Poehler, play a white-trash baby mama Fey hires to be her
surrogate mother when she hits rock bottom and thinks she’ll
never be able to have a kid!
EB: I like it
– that will also appeal to poor white folk in Kentucky and the
like. It’s genius! Not to mention, we can increase that
hick-appeal by throwing in a real trashy boyfriend that the
Poehler character will have! I say we get Dax Shepard to play
EA: Oooh, I
like the way you’re thinking, Executive B!
EB: But what
will happen to the Greg Kinnear character? The Poehler character
will somehow have to end up miscarrying the surrogate child so
in the end Fey can have Kinnear’s baby after all!
Miscarriage sounds too bleak. We’ll let Michael decide how to
work all of it together. Give him some more creative freedom to
write what he wants, you know? Not that we haven’t let him come
up with the whole movie already or anything…
Michael, are we good to go with this?
EA: You can
direct it if you want!
Mama has been given the green-light. Now get out of our
office and write the freakin’ script!
MM: I won’t
let you down, sir!
EB: Did you
not hear my partner? Be on your way! Get out and start pecking
at a keyboard so we can get this puppy on the market by April
3.3.2008 at the AMC Burbank 16 in Burbank, CA.
Baby Mama is rated PG-13 and runs 96
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