Saturday, May 10, 2008

Baby Mama fits into my Penis Analysis, too

I wanted to include some analysis of the new movie, Baby Mama, in the Tribune piece, but there wasn't room.

So here it is:

Surprisingly for a film that is supposed to be about the women's perspective, a "women's" film, there was a lot of emphasis on penises in Baby Mama. While there was no male nudity per se, there were three scenes where penises are mentioned.

In one, Steve Martin's character, Tina Fey's new-agey boss, says, "What's the secret to success? A big penis!" It's supposed to be funny, but it really wasn't, so it stuck in my mind. In a film about a 37-year-old woman who has been focusing on her career and reached a level of success in her career so that she has started fairly late to try to have a baby, it's strange to emphasize the worth of a big penis. Well, maybe it isn't so strange. The film was written by a man, and the anxiety, which I talk about in my Tribune article, about men getting displaced by women, about feeling not needed in today's society due to women's advances into areas of the workforce where men have always dominated, runs through Baby Mama.

Tina Fey's character turns to surrogacy during the film, in one scene, wielding a silver phallic object with sperm inside of it, carefully through the streets of Philadelphia. There's this male anxiety about becoming unnecessary in the act of procreation. But men need not fear, suggests this movie: only the old-fashioned act of intercourse leads to conception in the movie, twice over (I don't want to spoil the plot for you, even though it's quite predictable.)

So, just like the movies I discuss in the Tribune piece, this movie is all about quashing or appeasing male anxieties, even though this one, ostensibly, is supposed to be a "chick flick."

Baby Mama
would have been a better film if it were written by a woman and more from a woman's true perspective.

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