January 09, 2004

My Baby's Daddy

There are certainly worse things in the world than this movie. And the good news about MY BABY'S DADDY is that you'll probably laugh a handful of times while watching it. If anything, this PG-13-rated urbanized variation on THREE MEN AND A BABY suffers greatest from that feeling of holding back (an R-rated version of this movie would have been a lot better). But as it stands, DADDY is a no-brainer work punctuated by a handful genuine laughs. Three guys who have grown up together (Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson, and "The Sopranos" Michael Imperioli) and live together each get their respectively girlfriends pregnant on the same day. Naturally, the three women each give birth on the same day too, and none of the men are prepared to have their "playerhood" taken away so abruptly. The truth is the three are certified losers holding on to childhood dreams of becoming a boxer (Anderson), a record producer (Imperioli), and an inventor (Griffin). Over the course of the film, they learn the responsibility and value of fatherhood and pursue careers more appropriate to their strengths. Along the way, we get a bevy of dirty diaper jokes, ethnic humor, and ham acting; some of this is funny, much is not. In the final third of the story, we're also introduced to Anderson's in-and-out-of-jail cousin played by rapper Method Man, who introduces some much-needed energy into the proceedings, but by then it's too late. MY BABY'S DADDY suffers most from half-hearted film making. I never got the sense that any of the actors really believed what they were saying, and none of the male leads every looked comfortable holding their babies. What's almost more disappointing is the above-average cast of supporting players and cameos from the likes of Tiny Lister, John Amos, Bai Ling, Amy Sedaris, and Scott Thompson; but none of them are given anything funny or interesting to do. But I did laugh. I have a soft spot for Griffin's humor, but not usually in tame vehicles like this (his concert film from last year was a riot). Still, some of Griffin's gritty appeal comes through and those are the times I laughed the most. Overall however, MY BABY'S DADDY--like the many loaded diapers featured throughout--is a stinker.

Posted by sprokopy at January 9, 2004 03:00 PM