Monday, May 5, 2008

SG at the Movies: Ehhh boy....Baby Mama edition

So though I wasn't waiting with bated breath, I was looking forward to seeing this movie. I like Tina Fey and when Amy Poheler is funny, she's hilarious (of course, when her jokes miss it's not even bearable). But after I left the movie theatre Friday night, I had a sour taste in my mouth that I just could not shake.

The movie, in a nutshell, is this: Tina Fey (who is a "career woman" which means she couldn't have a man and a good career--just one and she chose the career) decides at age 37 that she wants to have a baby on her own. She tries many things, but is told that her chances of getting prego are 1 in a million. So she goes through an agency, run by an annoying-as-hell Sigourney Weaver, to find a surrogate, Amy Poheler. Amy is a saucy, trashy, white chick with a slight fashion flair who is in a "common law marriage" (which conveniently actually exists in Pennsylvania, where the movie is set) with Dax Shepard. They do in vitro using Tina's egg and a random dude's sperm. Amy doesn't get pregnant from this...(which takes awhile to sort out) but does get knocked up from a post-invitro romp with Dax. The guise goes on for 79% of the movie while Tina gets friendly with smoothie-making Greg Kinnear, whom she doesn't tell about her upcoming parental situation. He ends up crashing the shower where Dax announces to the crowd the scam going on and Amy feels bad because (as expected) she's now grown fond of Tina. There is a small custody battle because of the unknown parantage and the DNA shows that it's not Tina's kid. That same day, Amy goes into labor and Tina passes out during (because, of course, even though she's furious at her she accompanies her into the delivery room) and that's when they found out that Tina's overcome the odds and has gotten knocked up by smoothie-Greg. Everyone leaves with a kid, everyone's happy and the movie ends at some Chuckie Cheese like establishment on Amy's kid's first birthday. Hip hip horray for being convenient.

So here are my problems with the film:
1. Maybe there is a real issue with the surrogacy market, but the so-called investigation they did into Amy's background was shoddy at best. I mean, visiting her apartment would have revealed that.
2. Why is it that in order for a woman to have a successful career she must have abandoned all hope for a significant other and family? This movie perpetuates the idea that women, particularly young women, must chose one or the other--either you get to have a career or you get to have a family. You can't have both. And for Tina Fey, the feminist, you'd think she'd get the ridiculousness of this. I mean, if she had just not had the right moment, fine, but she goes through this whole "woe is me for I've chosen career over love" thing for a good 65% of the movie. It's not only unrealistic, but it's really demeaning to those of us who want both.
3. I understand the desire for a happy ending, but Tina Fey ending up prego is just a kick in the crotch to women everywhere who have trouble conceiving. Basically the message is this--once you take your mind off of it, you'll get knocked up and all will be well. And that message is insulting to the millions of women who are unable to have kids. It's almost as if to say "it's all in your head and once you stop thinking about it, it'll happen." It's a twisted way of doing things and though it might be reality for some women, it's a bad thing to portray as possible on a movie screen.
4. I'm all for the bonds of female friendship, but you besta believe that if someone screwed me over as bad as Amy did that we wouldn't be all buddy buddy afterwards.

Call me cynical, but you have to admit that this isn't necessarily the most advanced storyline. I get that it's a comedy and I get that it's a movie, but at the same time, people like Tina Fey have a reputation to live up to. She's keen on telling people that "bitch is the new black," but she isn't so keen on living up to that standard. This is the kind of storytelling drivel that convinces women that they have a choice to make and, unlike men, can't have it all...of course, until they stumble into it (but they first must have made the choice).

File this under: it's cute, but it's questionable.

1 Comment:

MarilynJean said...

Well after seeing Tina on the cover of was it E Weekly all vamped up, I lost some more respect for her because she looked like every other sexpot on mag covers and I thought she was better than that.

Not to mention that the whole "bitch is the new black" thing was something only a clueless white women could come up with not realizing that bitch is still bitch and black is still black and no matter how many ways you try to slice, white men still come out on top.


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