The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Baby Mama is hilarious. I could quote its awesome one-liners out of context for diminishing returns. It's also smart. The jokes are cribbed from the anxiety list of anyone who's spent too much time reading the New York Times Style section.
Yes, the film doesn't offer many surprises and grows soft and predictable by its conclusion. But it does avoid the sappy sentimentality of the genre. The movie -- and its lead actresses -- charms us more than we might expect.
I'm not making claims that Baby Mama transcends the format's routine progressions -- opposites not only attract, they learn from each other -- only that, within these conventions, the movie is smart, funny and beguiling.
It's a movie that deals in emotion and attempts to pass counterfeit goods. There's nothing there... . And yet by the deprived standards of the modern romantic comedy, one would have to say, well, it's not bad.
Neither Tina Fey nor Amy Poehler, former Saturday Night Live colleagues, has a compelling big-screen presence. And as a team they're no Martin and Lewis. Still, their lightweight double act passes the time agreeably.
It's not that Baby Mama is an outright bad movie. It's just so thoroughly typical, a one-note, odd-couple, laff-lite film featuring two Saturday Night Live veterans that reminds you of so many other dashed-together SNL vet films.
Every moment of this project feels beat-driven, focus-grouped and designed to package Fey as a viable movie star with great pins (as one character takes pains to note) to go with the breasts (ditto). This isn't writing, it's advertising.
The humor outweighs the holes in the story, Fey and Poehler look to be a comedy team built to last -- let's hope so -- and those who find Judd Apatow's comedies lacking in decent female roles have found their film.
There's nothing terribly wrong with Baby Mama but it's probably better suited for viewing on television, where many of the participants cut their teeth. This is small screen stuff masquerading as something bigger.