DVD REVIEW

The Babymakers

The Babymakers
A young coupleís uncomfortable problems with fertility gives director Jay Chandrasekhar plenty of fertile ground for lewd but humorous sex jokes about masculinity and masturbation in The Babymakers, a partial Broken Lizard collaboration thatís far funnier than any comedy with this many sperm-based punch lines should be.

The Movie: star rating

On their three-year anniversary, Tommy (Paul Schneider) and Audrey (Olivia Munn) decide itís time to start a family. But after nine months of hot sex in strange places, the flames of passion are dwindling and Audreyís eggs arenít getting fertilized. Everyone has a theory Ė in Babymakers, a very personal dilemma is milked for awkwardly public laughs Ė and they all involve Tommyís inability to produce potent sperm. But he knows that isnít the case, for he once donated 20 batches to a local sperm bank to help pay for Audreyís engagement ring. And now heís thinking about breaking into that same facility to retrieve samples of his donated goods.

Pretty much every Broken Lizard comedy since Super Troopers has fallen flat (for me, anyway), so Iím positively shocked I found Babymakers so funny. No subject is too taboo for Chandrasekhar to place under the microscope of comedy, from cuckolds or a montage of Tommyís scrotal traumas, to stolen kidneys and deeply racist jokes about our country outsourcing our fertility issues by adopting Chinese babies.

The Farrelly Brothers would have had a field day with Gerry Swallow (really?!) and Peter Gaulkeís in-touch screenplay, which is refreshingly trashy and candid at first. Later, you just kind of choke on the vulgarity of all the anal-sex, ejaculation and horse-fucking jokes.

The leads help sell the filmís sperm-laced insanity, however. Schneiderís one of the most underused comedic voices available today. How he doesnít have Bradley Cooperís career is beyond me, at least at this point. Heís handsome, likeable, and blessed with solid comedic timing. The same goes for Munn, who routinely wraps her girl-next-door sexuality around her comedy. Broken Lizard troupe member Kevin Heffernanís a great support system to Tommy, always tossing wild ideas against the wall until something sticks. And Chandrasekhar appears later in the film for a hilariously criminal Indian gangster cameo. He used to drive a cab, he can fix your computer, but heís also willing to slit a manís throat Ö invaluable skills when you are planning a sperm-bank job.

One knock against Babymakers is that it takes more than 70 of the filmís 98 minutes to get to its hook, which is the planned infiltration of the sperm bank in which Tommy made deposits. Thatís a lot of time padded with jerk-off jokes, but Chandrasekhar uses the downtime to craft engaging heist riffs that turn Babymakers into an original, entertaining, dirty spin on a universal problem far too many couples probably face. Even better, itís a viable alternative to the wishy-washy romantic comedies couples have to endure when looking for a date-night rental.

The Disc: dvd

The standard-edition DVD release of Chandrasekharís The Babymakers comes with three supplemental features which dive into the productionís history. These are pretty conventional extras.

The first segment on the disc, titled ďFeaturette,Ē cobbles together a basic promotional reel using film footage and cast interviews from the set, establishing Babymakers as ďOceanís 11 with sperm.Ē It's largely forgettable.

Thereís more information in the 19-minute "Cast & Crew Interviews" section, although itís weirdly divided up like a promotional reelóthe type you often see given to TV stations to use when they are selling the movie. But it's awkwardly edited, and you keep hearing an off-camera interviewer starting to ask Chandrasekhar and his cast softball questions. One is actually called ďOlivia Munn: I Had Fun Making This Movie.Ē After that, she turns into a human beatbox. You kind of have to see it.

The "Cast & Crew" clip is an odd format for a DVD feature, even if it does offer interesting tidbits for people who wind up enjoying the film. The DVD is so sparse, we should be happy with what we've received. But Iím not sure that Iíd trade this segment for a directorís commentary track. Chandrasekhar shows in the "Cast & Crew" interviews that he's an engaging, verbal storyteller. I wonder why he didnít sit down to record an audio commentary track for this?

The DVD concludes with 10 minutes of B-roll behind-the-scenes footage of the cast and crew hanging out on the set, followed by previews for four additional films.

Reviewed By: Sean O'Connell

Release Details
Length: 95 min
Rated: R
Distributor: Millennium Entertainment
Release Date:  2012-09-18
Starring: Olivia Munn, Paul Schneider, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Aisha Tyler
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
Produced by: Jason Blum, Jay Chandrasekhar, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Written by: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
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