Australian Council on Children and the Media

Baby Mama

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Not recommended under 13 (Lacks interest), PG 13-15 (Adult themes, Sexual references).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Baby Mama
  • a review of Baby Mama completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 August 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended - lacks interest, adult themes, sexual references
Children aged 13-15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes and sexual references.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Baby Mama
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language and sexual references
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) is a highly successful businesswoman working for Round Earth Organic Foods. However at 37, she is longing for a baby and having difficulty getting pregnant. She tries IVF, which fails, and her doctor informs her that her T-shaped uterus makes it highly unlikely that she will ever fall pregnant. At the suggestion of her sister Caroline (Maura Tierney), she decides to try surrogacy.

Kate is matched with prospective surrogate mother Angie, (Amy Poehler) who comes from a completely different social background. Kate is self-disciplined, in control and highly organised, whereas good-natured Angie, who is married to drop-out Carl (Dax Shepard), is chaotic, scheming and fun-loving. Angie moves out of home with Carl and into Kate’s house with hilarious results. Eventually the two learn to compromise and both learn something from the other.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

IVF; surrogate motherhood

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • verbal fights between Carl and Angie
  • television footage in which a child hits his father in the crotch with a baseball
  • verbal fights between Kate and Angie

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under five, including the following:
Angie, giving birth, screams in pain.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by Angie’s screams while in labour.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Dr. Pepper
  • Red Bull
  • Pringles

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Numerous frank discussions about pregnancy, IVF and surrogacy.
  • Carl tells Kate that if Angie has to have sex with another man it will cost more.
  • Kate expresses worry that the baby might be hermaphrodite – “a chick with a dick”.
  • Carl wants Angie to come home because he hasn’t had sex for a few weeks.
  • Carl asks Angie for a ‘quickie’ in the car.
  • talk about periods and boobs
  • Kate’s boss Barry tells Angie the secret of his success is having a big penis.

Nudity and sexual activity

Includes:

  • women in revealing clothing
  • kissing

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Drinking at home, in a bar and a nightclub.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit
  • Oh my God
  • bitches
  • holy shit
  • dick
  • asses

In a nutshell

Baby Mama is a funny movie about a serious subject. The characters are all somewhat stereotyped, such as the successful businesswoman, the ‘white-trash’ female and the pony-tailed, tree-hugging boss of Round Earth Foods.
The main messages from this movie are that life doesn’t always go as planned and not to force your own values onto others.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include not being judgemental

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children issues such as IVF, surrogacy and single parenting.

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