`Baby's Daddy' about raising kids, and a ruckus

MovieReview

January 10, 2004|By Jay Boyar | Jay Boyar,ORLANDO SENTINEL

My Baby's Daddy is one-stop shopping - if you're in the market for pee-pee, poo-poo and flatulence jokes, that is.

And if you still have room in your cart, keep in mind that the film also features a blue-light special on kick-in-the-family-jewels humor.

Despite the singular "Daddy" of the title, there are actually three daddies in this imbecile comedy: Lonnie, G and Dom.

You know that Lonnie (comedian Eddie Griffin, who co-wrote the script) is the brains of the operation because he wears huge eyeglasses and seems to be channeling Urkel.

G (Anthony Anderson of Barbershop), an aspiring boxer, is the heart of the group. And then there's Dom (Michael Imperioli of HBO's The Sopranos), who hopes to produce hip-hop artists.

Buddies since childhood, these three young men are having trouble making their dreams come true. So for the last several years, they've been keeping expenses low by living together in a house owned by Lonnie's Uncle Virgil.

But when their girlfriends all have babies at the same time, our three misguided musketeers are suddenly forced to grow up.

It's hard to say which is worse, the film's puerile comedy or its sanctimonious message that becoming an adult means taking responsibility for yourself and your family.

Part of that message, by the way, includes the notion that booze and pot can be central to the maturation process.

You probably won't hear anyone from the movie discussing that little piece of advice in the course of a talk-show appearance. But you might want to know about it if the teen or pre-teen in your life asks to see this movie.

My Baby's Daddy, which opened yesterday, was directed by Cheryl Dunye. She also directed The Watermelon Woman, which, if the press notes are to be trusted, has the distinction of being "the first African-American lesbian feature film."

The Daddy cast, which includes some actors who have been impressive elsewhere, are defeated by the material. These include Method Man, Paula Jai Parker, Bai Ling, Marsha Thomason, Joanna Bacalso and, as Uncle Virgil, John Amos.

Because our three daddies spend a certain amount of time awkwardly trying to care for their offspring, the new film is sure to be compared to the far superior Three Men and a Baby.

Seventeen years ago, when that film debuted, the idea that men didn't know how to take care of babies seemed to be on its way out. But things haven't changed as quickly as some people thought they would.

The idea remains viable, but the movie isn't. Maybe the title should have been Three Men and a Turkey.

My Baby's Daddy

Starring Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson, Michael Imperioli

Directed by Cheryl Dunye

Rated PG-13 (sexual content, language, drug references)

Released by Miramax

Time 86 minutes

SUN SCORE *

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