|My Baby's Daddy
2004 - PG-13 - 99 Mins.
|Director: Cheryl Dunye
|Producer: Eddie Griffin, Damon Daniels, Karen Koch, Matt Weaver
|Written By: Eddie Griffin, Damon Daniels, Brent Goldberg, David Wagner
|Starring: Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson, Michael Imperioli, Method Man, Ling Bai
|Review by: Joe Rickey
If you enjoyed films such as Barbershop or The Wood, two films about men having to come to terms with new situations and adapt to a completely new lifestyle, you might enjoy My Baby’s Daddy, if only because it features a similar plotline and some sporadic laughs can be had from its very thin structure. Eddie Griffin has made a sort of name for himself by playing the sidekick character in many films such as Double Take costarring Orlando Jones; The New Guy starring DJ Qualls and Eliza Dushku among others assorted films. His only real starring role outside of comedy concert films has been Undercover Brother, a slapstick heavy poke at racial relations released a while back and costarring Denise Richards, Chi McBride, and directed by Malcolm Lee. He finally stars in a film that he himself co wrote with My Baby’s Daddy.
The key to a successful comedy is solid writing and a nice mix of the slapstick and the more dialog-driven humor. My Baby’s Daddy leans much too far towards the former. It tells the story of three men who like to party like there’s no tomorrow. Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson, and Michael Imperioli play them. They are forced to adjust to a new lifestyle when their girlfriends become pregnant. This means that they soon will become parents, much to their chagrin.
My Baby’s Daddy is a very light film in most every way possible. As conceived by Eddie Griffin himself, it plays like an urban reworking of Three Men and a Baby, or, if you prefer, it is also similar to Daddy Day Care. Multiple scenes are made energetic and far more fun to watch than they must have been on paper because of the singular performance of Eddie Griffin who is a far better actor than he is a writer. His wry way of delivering basically every line bodes well for this farcical comedic effort as just hearing him speak can make one laugh. Costar Anthony Anderson also is present and provides a few laugh-inducing moments as well, including an Exorcist-riff that would not have been funny in the slightest without his timing being stupendous. The film also throws out some, but not quite enough, solid ideas about parenting in what it obviously considers a new age.
The film suffers though from not providing enough suitable ideas for a full-length film. The result is a movie that plays almost like a series of semi-related Saturday Night Live skits instead of being an entirely coherent production. A related problem is that far too many of the jokes revolve around the typical diaper changing and flatulence. Those two topics are basically present in every single comedy involving (and some not involving) babies. In the year 2004, a little more ingenuity can and should be expected from audiences.
Overall, My Baby’s Daddy is a rather bland film that never really goes anywhere or accomplishes much of anything outside of providing sporadic laughter because of its under appreciated and talented cast.