To its credit, "Baby Mama" is not your typical one-joke movie starring "Saturday Night Live" alums. It's more of a one-and-a-half joke movie. In "Mama", Tina Fey's OCD career woman, unable to conceive and unwilling to wait for an adoption, hires Amy Poehler's ADD surrogate mother to carry her baby. How will this odd couple survive nine months together? With hilarious results, of course. Well, moderately hilarious, at least, thanks in large part to its two seriously talented comedic leads. This contemporary comedy draws our attention to the business of babies. It does so however in such a hackneyed fashion that if it weren't for the talented mama's at the forefront of it all, it would be little more than a painful delivery.
Personally I feel that "Mama" is written, with one contrivance too many, by Michael McCullers who co-wrote the last two "Austin Powers" movies. Mr. McCullers makes his directorial debut here but, even at 96 minutes, "Mama" eventually runs awfully thin. There are certainly some good moments, particularly when the two leads are given time to riff off each other. Ms. Poehler, in particular, is given a wide berth (pun intended). Ms. Fey however, so winning on the small screen, is put to the test here. As the consummate straight-woman, her range (and the script) is too limited to inject any real depth into the material. "Mama" treats the sensitivity of its topic with kid gloves - it's missing Ms. Fey's deft comic hand (the one that has made "30 Rock", against all odds, one of the best comedy on television). Even 1987's similarly-themed Diane Keaton vehicle "Baby Boom" held more weight. Even without a gestation specialist.
Like I said before Michael McCullers made the comedy here far too broad and predictable, robbing the talented actors of anything with which to play. I don't know if someone at Saturday Night Live had a surrogate, but that idea certainly was kicking around the set. I would recommended this film only if you have a few lazy days put aside.