Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baby Mama tops the Movie chart

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the proud parents of the weekend's No. 1 box-office flick as their comedy "Baby Mama" debuted with $17.4 million.

Fey and Poehler both deliver as we've come to expect from their roles on "SNL," "30 Rock" and other comedic outlets. Fey is a little tame, but she does play the love-smitten, baby-loving, high-power vice president of an organic food chain store. Poehler's character will have you doubling over with laughter, but Angie is not unbelievable.

Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) is 37 and occupationally accomplished (she works as a vice president at a comical Whole Foods-ish supermarket chain in Philadelphia). But she's single, childless, and having a terrible time conceiving. She could keep injecting herself with hormones. She could adopt. Instead, she pays an agency $100,000 to find a surrogate. The search turns up Angie Ostrowski (Amy Poehler), a petite and stupendously blond slacker with bad eating habits and a dolt named Carl (Dax Shepard) for a boyfriend.

The movie has fun outside Kate's spacious Philadelphia apartment. (It looks suspiciously like a nice adult apartment on Manhattan's Riverside Drive.) Romany Malco is Kate's sweetly streetwise doorman. Sigourney Weaver is the hilariously fertile founder of a surrogate-parent organization (her headquarters resemble the oval office). Steve Martin has some amusing scenes as Kate's kooky extra-crunchy boss - those flower-print shirts suggest he's running Trader Joe's on the side. And Greg Kinnear, getting sexier by the role, plays the owner of a smoothie shop who's worried that Kate's new store might be gentrifying the neighborhood. Here we have a slight reversal of the galling finale of "You've Got Mail," where the man puts the woman he likes out of business, but she loves him anyway.

But the movie's hook is the rapport between its two stars. They turn a classical screwball relationship upside down. Fey is Cary Grant in "Bringing Up Baby," stiff, law-abiding, humorously humorless. Poehler is Katharine Hepburn by way of Jerry Lewis. The years they spent working together on "Saturday Night Live," where Poehler still works, have turned them into a sharply instinctive comedy duo. The uproariously uncouth people Poehler often plays are a natural affront to Fey's buttoned-up professionals. They're roiling ids and ridiculously physical. Poehler gradually lets a human being out of Angie long enough for the characters to seem like more than a gag. But she's at her delirious best when out of physical control.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Media By Numbers LLC are:

Top 20 Movies This Week

1. Baby Mama 2. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay 3. The Forbidden Kingdom 4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall 5. Nim's Island 6. Prom Night 7. "21," 8. 88 Minutes 9. Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! 10. Deception 11. Street Kings 12. Leatherheads 13. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed 14. Smart People 15. Superhero Movie 16. The Visitor 17. Shine a Light 18. The Ruins 19. Drillbit Taylor 20. Under the Same Moon

No comments: