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BABES (2024)

Release Date: 05/17/24 [Cinemas]
Genre: Comedy.

Studio: Neon. 

[Seen at SXSW Film Festival 2024]

"It tells the story of Eden who becomes pregnant from a one-night-stand and leans on her married best friend and mother of two to guide her." 


There are a multitude of movies about pregnancy. Some focus on teen pregnancies like Juno (2007) and Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020). Others tell the journey of surrogacy like Baby Mama (2009) and Together Together (2021). And some go the route of the one-night stand similar to Knocked Up (2007). But Babes gives us a two-for-one when it comes to pregnancy storylines.


Eden (Ilana Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau) have been best friends since childhood. Dawn is pregnant and lives with her husband Marty (Hasan Minhaj) and their three-year-old son. Every year the besties see a movie together on Thanksgiving. Their tradition is suddenly interrupted when Dawn unexpectedly goes into labor. These early scenes provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the chemistry between Glazer and Buteau and build the foundation for what comes later. There are a ton of jokes and witty banter between the two women and fans of Glazer’s Broad City days will revel in the familiar tones.


After their movie is cut short and Dawn delivers her new baby, Eden meets a young actor (Stephan James) on her mult-train ride home. They have an instant connection and spend the night together. When Eden finds out she’s pregnant, she turns to Dawn for guidance. This is where the movie really hits its stride. When Eden decides to have the baby, she has to do it solo (due to a weird twist). She counts on her best friend who has two children of her own to be by her side. But Dawn hits a rough patch with postpartum depression, juggling two kids, and going back to work. And Eden has to navigate the pregnancy, and the multiple (and hilarious) doctors visits on her own. 


This is director Pamela Adlon’s feature film debut but it doesn’t feel as clunky as many other first timers’ attempts would. That’s due in large part to the screenplay from Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz—who also plays a small role as a waiter in one of the funniest scenes in the movie. They keep things tight and moving at a nice pace throughout the one hour and forty-two minute runtime. And the jokes land because Glazer and Buteau are pros who work so well together. 


The emotional moments that are supposed to tug on your heartstrings work most of the time. It’ll especially hit for mothers and those who have intense friendships that replace their lackluster blood relatives. But admittedly the movie is at its best when Glazer and Buteau trade one-liners and discuss the intricacies of pregnancy and its effect on their bodies. Babes manages to intertwine the difficulties of pregnancy and motherhood with the power of friendships, while still delivering one of the years’ funniest comedies.


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