REVIEW: ‘Babysplitters’ is mostly abysmal

Parenthood and the process of getting there has been the subject of comedies for quite some time and some, like “Knocked Up,” can be big hits.

However, these types of films usually require a balanced approach. Unfortunately, “Babysplitters” is too all over the place.

The movie focuses on the married couple Jeff (Danny Pudi) and Sarah (Emily Chang). The two have a good relationship, but they somewhat disagree on the prospect of having children.

Meanwhile, their friends Don (Eddie Alfano) and Taylor (Maiara Walsh) are having the same conversations. After having some discussions all together, they come up with a plan of sharing one baby, but their plan has complications.

The tone and style of comedy in “Babysplitters” is really all over the place, and it does the picture no favors. At some points it goes in the direction of a raunchy comedy, in others it comes off like a quirky romcom and in certain parts it offers a more cynical take on the whole process of having kids.

Writer and director Sam Friedlander doesn’t provide enough of a focus on the type of comedy at play here. It’s also difficult to know what exactly the point Friedlander is going for with his movie. There are some topical points brought up, but it never comes together in a coherent manner to mean something.

Courtesy Gravitas Ventures, Route 66 Films and Third Law Productions.

Another noticeable issue with “Babysplitters” is the story, which takes some excessive turns just for the sake of having some melodramatic moments or for a few chaotic comedy bits. In the third act Friedlander also writes himself out of some corners in really convoluted ways.

It’s a shame, too, because the main four making up the lead cast put in the effort. None of them phone it in and they bring some comedic timing to the table. Plus, Pudi and Chang have some pretty solid on screen chemistry.

The material just does them no favors though. The dialogue provided in the script doesn’t hit the comedic notes one would hope and none of them are ever made to be endearing enough to really make the more emotional sequences stick.

“Babysplitters” could’ve been a better film had it taken a simpler approach and narrowed its lane of comedy for a tonally consistent experience. Overall, the film lacks direction, but worse, it’s just not really that funny. 1.5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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