That astute film critic Roger Ebert once wrote that “Frozen Assets,” a comedy about a sperm bank, was “a movie to watch in appalled silence.” I got one for Roger that’s even worse: “The Babymakers,” a comedy about a sperm bank — and its robbery — is a movie to flee from with an agonized shriek.
I sat through it if only to bear witness. So you don’t need to. No intelligent adult would and while the movie is childish, that R rating thankfully prevents children from entering the cinema. For whom was this film made?
The only curiosity here is that this is the second movie in a week to feature a storyline about a guy who realizes he can’t get his wife pregnant because he’s “shooting blanks.” The previous one, “The Watch,” at least kept that as a subplot. Here it’s the only plot.
Paul Schneider plays Tommy the blank-shooter, celebrating his third anniversary with wife Audrey (Olivia Munn). She’s a dish so you understand why he’ll go to any extreme to keep her. Only soon enough he finds out she’s okay with adopting. So why any extreme actions?
Alas (for us all), the scheme has already been set in motion to rob a sperm bank to steal back a deposit he made years ago. Confused are you? If he shoots blanks, why would a sperm bank be able to sell his sperm to hopeful couples?
Good question, one the filmmakers fumble badly. It seems that since Tommy made those deposits his sperm has grown “confused.” I don’t think that’s the medical term and am uncertain whether that’s even a real condition. However, it does describe this movie rather well.
Tommy and his hapless buddies (Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris and Nat Faxon) must call in a criminal mastermind to rob a place no one would ever think might get robbed. This cues the film’s director, standup comic-actor-filmmaker Jay Chandrasekhar, to play a former Mumbai gangster hired to perform the task.
The character Chandrasekhar plays is a stereotype but of what I’m not sure. Not of Mumbai gangsters that appear in Bollywood films certainly. Nor of bumbling fools that populate Indian comedies such as “Delhi Belly.” Chandrasekhar has seemingly created a stereotype that while demeaning is so utterly false and charmless as to be benignly absurd.
The movie, written by Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow, runs out of ideas pretty fast but the movie continues on … and on. The robbery itself gets extended beyond tedium by countless improbably obstacles and situations including one character endlessly slipping on a semen-drenched floor and a wedding-limo carjacking.
It’s worst than it sounds.
Opens: August 3, 2012 (Millennium Entertainment)
Production companies: Alliance Films/BH Productions
Cast: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Nat Faxon, Wood Harris, Aisha Tyler
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Screenwriters: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
Producers: Jason Blum, Jay Chandrasekhar, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Executive producer: Charles Layton, Stuart Ford, Kevin Heffernan
Director of photography: Frankie DeMarco
Production designer: Katie Byron
Music: Edward Shearmur
Costume designer: Tracia Gray
Editor: Brad Katz
R rating, 96 minutes