Review: 'The Babymakers' Makes Sweet Love to Terribleness

"The Babymakers" is almost amazing in its complete lack of comedy, nearly satirical in its rejection of levity and full-on embrace of mediocrity, and possibly a cautionary tale for fledgling filmmakers. The spirit of "The Babymakers" is willing, but, much like our protagonist Tommy, the execution isn't able.

Tommy (Paul Schneider) wants to have a baby with his wife, Audrey (Olivia Munn), but they're having some problems with impregnation. There's plenty in store for the couple and their friends, but none of it really holds together. It's as if writers Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallows spun a roulette wheel to pick the plot lines. Time to rob a sperm bank? Sure. Do you have a moment for your old high coach to give you lessons on why your sperm is "confused"? Uh-huh.  It's not so much one note as it is no note. "The Babymakers" offers a few set-ups that are almost funny out of context, but every scene a little less funny given that there isn't really any context. None of it adds up.

No subject is taboo for "The Babymakers," a film that has a similar sensibility to "The Hangover" but without the innovative non-linear plot construct and steady chemistry from the leads. An prime example of a "joke" here is an Asian adoptee whose parents have named her "Jacky Chan." Do you get it? Because she's Asian, and Jackie Chan is an Asian name, and also because she's Asian. Jokes!

On the positive side, "The Babymakers" does feature an appealing cast and soundtrack, and there are about five laughs to be found. The movie kicks off with M. Ward's "Never Had Nobody Like You," and the rest of the soundtrack is fairly solid. Besides comedy regulars Munn and Schneider, Aisha Tyler and Wood Harris ("The Wire") also appear in a few scenes. However, what we've learned from watching "Newsroom" and "Magic Mike" that an Olivia Munn is a terrible thing to waste. She's completely misused, the constant straight woman in a world full of bad (or completely absent) jokes.

The root of comedy is surprise, and there's very little of that to be found in "The Babymakers." Raunchy bodily humor, strange non-comedic asides and a plot that never really progresses past the idea of an elevator pitch makes "The Babymakers" one to avoid. While there's plenty of humor to be found in children, or even the relatively sensitive subject of trying to have children, the entire enterprise comes off as completely (sorry) sterile.

Grade: D

VMAs 2018