Babes Movie Review

Babes movie poster

Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau star in Babes, a mildly enjoyable if largely unremarkable comedy-drama about two friends navigating pregnancy and parenting. The movie feels like a less-entertaining episode of the irreverent comedy series “Broad City,” which Glazer wrote and starred in for several seasons.

I didn’t watch a lot of “Broad City” myself, but my ex-wife did. Of what I watched, it was pretty damn funny. Babes comes off as “Broad City” but if the characters and humor had matured into the real world, which means it’s less ridiculous, less funny, and less fun to watch.

Actually, come to think of it and for a movie marketed as “the comedy of the year,” I didn’t laugh a single time.

Glazer and Buteau make a good pair–they have good chemistry with another, and both are strong physical performers. Their facial expressions alone are amusing. And yet Glazer, co-writer Josh Rabinowitz, and director Pamela Adlon fail to find much of a comedic spark. Despite the cast and talent at hand, Babes just doesn’t have a ton going for it.

But it does have its sweet moments. A stretch where Glazer’s character Eden meets a charming man (Stephan James) on a subway is a standout (a better movie would have spent the entire time with them on that single evening). The opening “water broke” scene is almost funny. Several other scenes are also amusing. Sweet. Heartwarming.

But hardly memorable. You can see the foundational pieces for a great comedy. The filmmakers throw the cast into potentially combustible situations, and yet the spark fizzles before it catches fire. Babes isn’t a bad movie–it is, truly, a pleasant watch–but for one that bills itself as a laugh-out-loud comedy, it should have never left the womb.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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