Movie Review: 'The Babymakers' -- 2.5 stars
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan
The latest film from members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe finds the minds behind cult hits "Super Troopers" and "Beerfest" taking their act in a toned-down direction.
If that seems like a strange way to begin a review of "The Babymakers," a movie about a group of misfits robbing a sperm bank, well, that says a lot about the extraordinarily broad nature of its predecessors.
Director Jay Chandrasekhar, working from a script by Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow, follows married couple Tommy (Paul Schneider) and Audrey (Olivia Munn), who are prevented from starting a family because Tommy is "firing blanks," as the movie's advertising materials put it.
Our hero wasn't always so infertile, though. Five years earlier, he paid for Audrey's engagement ring by making repeated sperm donations at $85 a pop. When Tommy discovers that there might be one sample left on ice, a haphazard plan to get it back takes shape.
Schneider and Munn make a likable pair, while the filmmakers give them a couple scenes that are, dare we say it, genuinely dramatic, even touching.
But the movie's hardly a sincere drama about the struggle to give birth. It's a strained comedy-of-errors, stuck in a no-man's-land between the everyday setting and the absurdist, slapstick world that's the Broken Lizard forte. Chandrasekhar never strikes the appropriate balance between the two contrasting tones and Schneider simply can't manage when his character descends into over-the-top, everyman-under-siege Ben Stiller territory.
In short, the movie's not funny enough or serious-minded enough to warrant 95 minutes of your time.