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  • Nate Adams

'Babes' review: Pregnancy comedy delivers laughs and endearment


Courtesy of Neon

 

The limits and bonds of friendship are put on display in “Babes,” a charming, if a little undercooked, comedy that can be summarized as: “Bridesmaids” but for pregnancy. It hails from “Broad City” alum IIana Glazer and director Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”) and has plenty of definitive hallmarks in regards to buddy comedies while also carving out its own niche within a genre that, until now, hasn’t deeply explored the comedic highlights (and downfalls) of what the female body endures when carrying a child. 


Eden (Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau) are best friends who have a tradition of meeting up every Thanksgiving for a movie and the two couldn’t lead more different lives. Dawn is about to pop out a second child and has recently relocated to the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her supportive and caring husband (Hasan Minhaj), while Eden is a yoga instructor who teaches classes out of her studio apartment in Astoria. But Eden’s life is completely upended when she gets knocked up from a one night stand and decides to have the baby in what she assumes will be the thing she needs in order to turn her life around. 


Dawn, having known Eden her entire life, is skeptical and when asked about the idea, she offers her support, but the subtext in her body language tells a different story. Nonetheless, the duo embark on an endearing journey of self-discovery and “Babes,” co-written by Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz, offer hilarious commentary on everything from breastfeeding, maternity pictures, and even birth themes. Which in this case is “prom” because Eden had a horrible experience in high school and wants to rewrite the script. 


Eden’s severe lack of understanding as it pertains to carrying a child to term is the beating heart of “Babes” and it provides the movie with plenty of creative hijinx. It also shows the other side of motherhood with Dawn, as someone who is clearly exhausted by having to raise two children and consistently feels guilty about wanting time for herself. There’s a real touching monologue near the end of the film (that Buteau crushes) where she talks about the joys of raising kids, but addresses the unflattering experiences most never hear about. It’s a constant tug of war and “Babes” tastefully tows the line between sweet and endearing and, also, not being afraid of using aminotic fluids for a sight gag. 


“Babes” really doesn’t find its stride until Eden begins going through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy (and the supporting cast of John Carroll Lynch and Oliver Platt step in for brief comedic interludes), but once it does, Buteau and Glazer make an indestructible pair. They’re representative of countless duos who lean on each other during hardships and the script is just sharp enough to give them depth beyond the circumstances they find themselves in. It’s a movie about the celebration of maternity as much as it is about the ones who are there when it matters most. 


Grade: B 


BABES opens in theaters Friday, May 17th  


1 comment

1 Comment


Steele Nickle
Steele Nickle
May 21

Which in this case is “prom” because Eden had a horrible experience in high school and wants to rewrite the script snow rider 3d

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