|| Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson, Michael Imperioli, Method Man,
Paula Jai Parker, Bai Ling, Marsha Thomason, Bobb’e Jacquez
Thompson, John Amos, Tiny Lister, Amy Sedaris, & Joanna Bacalso
My Baby’s Daddy is a very disappointing film.
I didn’t foresee any Oscar nominations walking in, but I really
expected a lot more from a film with Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson,
and Michael Imperioli. The story has heart and that’s about
it. It had some genuinely funny moments, but is really not that
funny or entertaining as a whole. My chief complaint, and it pains
me to write this, is that the film is poorly directed and edited.
I can’t understand what happened because the director, Cheryl
Dunye, is quite talented and has done some banner work in the past.
Her HBO original film, Stranger Inside, was a gritty, heart wrenching
look at a mother and daughter at the same correctional facility.
That was a great movie. In fact, it inspired high hopes for this
film when I learned that she was the director. I can only guess
that she wasn’t as passionate about the script for this film
because it’s evident onscreen.
The plot centers on three lifelong friends that live together in
Philadelphia. Eddie Griffin is Lonnie, a nerdy guy who is infatuated
with his hood rat girlfriend Rolonda (Paula Jai Parker). Anthony
Anderson is G, a wannabe boxer working in a Chinese supermarket
owned by his girlfriend’s (Bai Ling) family. Michael Imperioli
of The Sopranos fame plays Dominic, a sound engineer who has a fling
with his boss Nia (Joanna Bacalso). In a completely preposterous
twist of fate, the guys impregnate their girlfriends at one of their
wild house parties. Nine months vanishes in a flash and now the
swinging bachelors are fathers, forced to face the harsh reality
of being a baby’s daddy.
Eddie Griffin and his writing partner, Damon “Coke”
Daniels, had the original idea and co-wrote the script. I see what
they’re trying to do with the film and it’s an admirable
attempt. They wanted to show that men can become responsible and
take care of their children. These guys aren’t generic sitcom
characters from Must See TV or CBS’s Monday night cheesefest.
They are urban guys in an urban setting learning that fatherhood
is serious business and must be respected. It’s very positive
in its portrayal of stereotypical characters. This is where the
film succeeds. Unfortunately, there is really nothing else that
can be praised.
I had serious issues with the editing and directing style of the
film. It looks like it was made by amateurs. Granted it’s
a low budget film, but there are continuity errors all over the
place. These kinds of mistakes fall solely in the laps of the director
and editor. They could have done a much better job filming and piecing
the movie together. I did like the cartoon they had in the beginning.
They use a cartoon to lay the groundwork for the story and introduce
us to the main characters. That was cleverly done and deserves some
recognition for being so.
If you look at the film purely as a comedy then it does have
its moments. The three lead characters are funny guys and nothing
can stop that from coming through. They are likable and make the
most out of what they have. Anthony Anderson’s exploits at
the Chinese grocery are fairly humorous and the high point of the
film. Method Man has a cameo as Anderson’s cousin, No Good,
but is totally wasted. My Baby’s Daddy has the right idea,
but falls far short as a film. It’s really too bad because
the three leads are great actors and deserve a better vehicle for