Review: The hilarious ups and down of friendship (and pregnancy) in 'Babes'

Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times on

Published in Entertainment News

There’s a moment in “Babes,” the likable buddy-pregnancy comedy directed by Pamela Adlon, that’s wonderfully illustrative of what it means to be a best friend. Eden (Ilana Glazer), a free-spirited yoga teacher who’s gotten accidentally pregnant after one night with a man who’s no longer in the picture (a lot happens in this movie’s first act), excitedly tells her longtime best friend Dawn (Michelle Buteau) that she’s going to have the baby and it’s destiny. Dawn, a mother of two whose life is far more stable than Eden’s (she’s a well-off dentist with a loving husband), asks Eden if she’s sure. “You think I can do this, right?” Eden asks Dawn. The camera focuses on Dawn’s face, which is clearly telling us that she’s not at all sure that her friend is up to the task (and frankly, having watched the film this far, neither are we), but who finally, bravely, lovingly lies and says, “Yes.” Because that’s what friends do.

“Babes” is at heart a friendship rom-com, with a lot of breast pump, placenta and poop jokes thrown in. The screenplay, written by Glazer (“Broad City”) and Josh Rabinowitz, follows Dawn and Eden through the ups and downs of grown-up life: Dawn gets angry when Eden doesn’t seem to understand that family responsibilities mean that she can’t always be there for her; Eden is frustrated when Dawn seems to be abandoning her; and everything works itself out in the end. (Rather too easily perhaps — Eden’s adaptation to motherhood, both emotionally and financially, seems a bit breezy — but hey, it’s a rom-com.) Along the way, we meet a hilarious pair of twin-brother STD clinic nurses (Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas), share the ongoing hair crisis of Eden’s OB-GYN (John Carroll Lynch, in a truly tragic comb-over) and fall a little bit in love with this best-friend pair, who seem to bring out the best in each other. Life, as a character in “Babes” points out, isn’t always like a Nora Ephron movie, but it’s a pleasure to watch these two stumble toward their own happy ending.



3 stars (out of 4)


MPA rating: R (for sexual material, language throughout, and some drug use)

Running time: 1:44

How to watch: Now in theaters


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