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Birds of a feather - or not: "Baby Mama" and "Then she found me"

Posted at 3:53 PM on May 2, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Last week "Baby Mama" took top box office honors. With "Iron Man" hurtling into the theaters this weekend "Then she found me" won't, but if there is any justice it'll do reasonably well.

Both films deal with women hearing the fertility clock ticking down.

In "Baby Mama" Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey plays Kate a single woman who is told she is incapable of having a child goes the surrogate route, and ends up playing a surrogate mother role to Angie the woman she hires to bear her child (played by another SNL-er Amy Poehler.)

In "Then She Found Me" Helen Hunt plays April, a woman who is in need of a stable guy, but finds herself caught between two guys who are less than ideal. Her life gets even more complicated when her birthmother turns up out of the blue and tries to establish a relationship.

Both plots are contrived, and both are played for laughs and pathos. Yet it's remarkable how much more satisfying "Then she Found Me" is as a movie.

And it simply gets down to acting. Fey and Poehler are great at mugging their way through comic scenes, but when it comes to showing the angst and discomfort that both characters feel with themselves there's no great depth.

Helen Hunt on the other hand drags herself into some very dark places. (She also directed the film.) Having watched her on the sitcom circuit for so long it is startling to see her features almost peel under the tension of her situation.

She's going to be a director and actor to watch in coming years.

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May 2008
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