And so the long dreadful month of January begins. At the helm is Anthony Anderson, the star of last January's uneventful adventure "Kangaroo Jack," and one of three stars in a film not much better; "My Baby's Daddy."
Anthony Anderson, Eddie Griffin and Michael Imperioli play G, Lonnie and Dom; best buds who live in the basement of Lonnie's Uncle Virgil (John Amos). Anderson is a failed boxer, Griffen a failed inventor and Imperioli a failed record manager. Their abysmal lives get turned upside down when they get their girlfriends pregnant at the exact same time one night at a party they happen to be hosting. Fast-forward nine months and it's three men and a baby…make that three men and three babies….wait, it's more like just six babies. Watching these new dads try to adjust to parenthood is a concept that could be funny but ultimately fails.
It's got the star power in Eddie Griffin who proved his talent in "Undercover Brother" and somewhat in "DysFunktional Family," but his character in this film is severely wounded by the screenplay that describes him as a nerd not cool enough to pick up chicks. The woman he was able to knock up, Rolanda (Paula Jai Parker) was only in his life since childhood for his money, even though I can't imagine him having too much when he works for the sanitation department.
Anthony Anderson is a funny presence by himself and proved so in his minor role in "Scary Movie 3" spoofing Mekhi Phifer. Here he plays G, a no-talent boxer and in a relationship with XiXi (Bai Ling), a daughter to a Chinese family whom owns the Stop-and-Shop down at the corner. Expect the usual Chinese stereotypes to flow whenever this family graces our presence, that is unless it is typical to find a Chinese family with names like Cha Ching, Sing Sing, Grandpa Bling Bling and Grandma Fung-Yu. However I did find the name of G and XiXi's child, Bruce Leeroy, somewhat humorous.
Yes the film is racy but to call it racist would be unfair. I used that one (and rightly so) on "National Security" but racy films aren't much better. This film is obviously marketed to the black audience, and it's a shame that this is the type of fodder they're fed to the movies. The best and funniest character in the film happens to be a rapper, not a comedian. It's Method Man who plays No Good, G's cousin who was just released from prison and has no purpose for being here other than to fulfill the requirement of these kinds of films which says that it must have at least one intimidating recently released inmate.
Where the film requires comedy it gives us toilet humor and tired clichés like the one where a man tries to impress a girl by becoming a different person only to find out that his plan backfires. In this case it's Lonnie who needs to get over Rolanda. He meets an attractive single mother (Marsha Thomason) at a parenting class, and for some reason she is attracted to him to and agrees to meet him one night for drinks. Griffin's character spends the afternoon being taught by his two goon friends how to be cool, and later meets his new friend at a bar; not as the geeky dork he once was, but as someone more like Eddie Griffin and his new act turns her off. I guess women don't like it when you intentionally spill your drink on their dress and say, "let's get you out of those clothes." He will of course try to redeem himself in the end and blah blah blah.
Yet all of them have a story to tell which means that we have to put up with this lousy concept three different times. Whoever coined the phrase "three's a crowd" must have seen an advanced screening of this film and got inspired. Miramax was smart by only showing it to that guy before the film's general release, leaving it up to us Internet critics to spread the word on how awful this movie is.
What's most irritating is that the three different dads have almost the exact same story: single whom happen to impregnate the wrong girl, which the exception of G who eventually finds a connection with XiXi. Griffin's Lonnie makes the biggest mistake by shacking up with Rolanda, an obnoxiously loud woman whom obviously isn't fit to be a mother. Admittedly, I couldn't help but chuckle at the scene where she puts Jolt Cola in her baby's bottle -- but still -- shame on me.
The guys don't start to get their acts together until one morning they're confronted by Uncle Virgil whom sees to know everything about what happened over the last nine months and encourages them to clean up and get back with their women. Listening to him recap the events like a drill sergeant not only had me wondering how as a character he was able to watch this movie, but why he cared so much to remember every thing that happened in it.
Watching "My Baby's Daddy" is like experiencing "The Worst of NBC's 'Friends'" on DVD. Unfunny plot contrivances like Imperioli's character not finding out his baby's mama Nia (Joanna Bacalso) is a lesbian until he sees her kissing another woman is just one more reason why we need to support the adoption agencies of America.