This wry character comedy written and directed by former SNL writer Michael McCullers and starring "Weekend Update" tag-team Tina Fey and Amy Poehler follows the misadventures of a successful career woman who desperately wants baby and hires a working-class wild card as her surrogate mother. Kate Holbrook (Fey) has put up with a lot -- and given up more...read more
This wry character comedy written and directed by former SNL writer Michael McCullers and starring "Weekend Update" tag-team Tina Fey and Amy Poehler follows the misadventures of a successful career woman who desperately wants baby and hires a working-class wild card as her surrogate mother.
Kate Holbrook (Fey) has put up with a lot -- and given up more -- to have a career, and at 37 she has plenty to show for it: A luxury Philadelphia apartment, a kicky little Audi and a vice-presidency at Round Earth organic markets – she's the company's youngest VP. Her obnoxiously New Age boss, pony-tailed supermarket mogul Barry (Steve Martin), who just promoted Kate, wants her to spearhead his plan to open new flagship store right in Philadelphia and Kate's thrilled… but what she really wants is a baby. Her plans to adopt are mired in application purgatory, and nine rounds of artificial insemination haven't taken (her gynecologist blames Kate's T-shaped uterus). Kate is appalled when her sister, two-time mom Caroline (Maura Tierney), suggests she consider surrogacy, but soon finds herself in the plush offices of Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver), a woman of a certain age who runs a "center for surrogate parenting." For the small sum of $100,000, Chaffee will find a warm nest for Kate's eggs, and assures her that all potential surrogates have been screened for medical, psychological and financial problems. And at a first glance Angie (Poehler) seems perfect: Cute, clean and eager to become a mother. Most importantly, she says yes and she and Kate get off to a great start: Kate's doctor (Denis O'Hare) implants Angie with three of Kate's fertilized eggs, and Angie heads back to Dreery, PA, and her common-law husband, Carl (Dax Shepard). Two weeks later, Angie calls Kate with the good news: She's pregnant. The bad news arrives six weeks later: Angie shows up on Kate's doorstep, bags in hand. She and Carl are through and Angie needs a place to stay. At first, Kate is both too thrilled with the prospect of motherhood and too busy scouting locations for the new Round Earth store and flirting with Rob (Greg Kinnear), the owner of a small juice shop she'll probably put out of business, to mind. But soon the situation becomes intolerable: Angie is a Dr. Pepper swilling slob who plays American Idol karaoke at top volume, doesn't use coasters, pees in the sink when she can't get the child-proofed lid off the toilet and sticks her gum under Kate's repurposed barn-wood coffee table.
McCullers, who's written several SNL cast-member vehicles, both funny (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER) and less so (UNDERCOVER BROTHER), came up with a perfect scenario for Fey and Poehler, a true comedy team who honed their chemistry over multiple seasons worth of "Weekend Updates." And even though Kinnear is meant to be obvious love interest, it's the relationship between Kate and Angie that becomes the film's central story, making this comedy sweeter -- and more honest in its depiction of class difference -- than one might otherwise expect.