The Babymakers Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar Cast: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Nat Faxon, Wood Harris, Jay Chandrasekhar Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins Rating: R Release Date: August 3, 2012 (Chicago and VOD)
PLOT: After finding out he's sterile, a young husband (Schneider) tries to steal back his last deposit at a sperm bank so that he can impregnate his wife (Munn).
WHO'S IT FOR?: The Babymakers is one of those R-rated movies that's best enjoyed by 13-year-olds, even though the MPAA says otherwise. But considering that this movie is now on Video On Demand, it should be easier for young men to access this without having to say, "Yo, gimme a ticket to Moonrise Magic Mike Kingdom."
Attempting to show the goofy aspects about being a guy through expression of juvenile humor, The Babymakers is a comedy whose grossness becomes nearly unacceptable. It's fine for a movie to make whatever jokes it wants to, certainly if it's indecent content, etc. But eventually, this movie's blitzkrieg of unfunny wack-off jokes becomes a merciless assault, and the laziness put behind such gags is painful. (To quote a colleague's remark after the screening, "I almost pulled the fire alarm.") Babymakers is one raunchy comedy, however silly that it desires to be, that needs to grow up, even just a little.
The issue of sterility in men is a serious issue, and Babymakers doesn't provide nearly enough laughs to stand as silly escapism for such a topic. Even the central concept is open to the possibility of humorously portraying the desperate measures a man will go to maintain his masculinity, and his loved one's happiness, but Babymakers offers no such relief.
The jokes here go beyond the concept of being predictable — it's both stunning or perhaps insulting that such jokes would be played earnestly, all next to one another. The only "spice" that Babymakers has to offer with its absurd comedy is that many of its gags are centered around masturbation or sperm. For example, in regards to the cliche of having a character repeatedly slip up on a wet surface (often at the fault of a rogue banana peel), Babymakers adds a lot of sperm to the slippery equation. With such a visual now in your head, you probably now understand how the humor of Babymakers is both thoughtless and in need of some fragment of maturity, regardless of how much this story revels in boyish immaturity.
The film's funniest sequence (of which there are not many at all) involves a common gag possibly best celebrated on patriotic video collage "America's Funniest Home Videos." It's a joke that could teach the rest of Babymakers a lesson about how a classic silly gag can still work, with the help of clever context. And no, it doesn't need more sperm to assist in its humor potential.
The golden moment I'm talking about is of course when Paul Schneider, indie darling, is subjected to a melee of shots to the groin in a montage more creative than the accidents seen on "America's Funniest Home Videos." Fret not, fans of stupid comedy, you will not see it coming. But this moment will provide a glimmer of laughter in a gross comedy that is otherwise unsuccessful with its comedic antiquing.
FINAL SCORE: 2/10