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Babes Movie Review: Motherhood Can Be Hilarious

Babes is the new comedy about motherhood and friendship, and the ups and downs and twists and turns life takes when you become a parent. It’s funny, raw, gross, heartbreaking, and heartwarming  – which means it’s just like being a Mom for real.

About Babes

Directed by Pamela Adlon
Written by Ilana Glazer, Josh Rabinowitz
Produced by Ilana Glazer, Josh Rabinowitz, Susie Fox, Ashley Fox, Breean Pojunas
Starring Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau, John Carroll Lynch, Hasan Minhaj

Babes Movie poster
Babes opens May 17th

Movie Synopsis

BABES follows inseparable childhood best friends Eden (Ilana Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau), having grown up together in NYC, now firmly in different phases of adulthood. When carefree and single Eden decides to have a baby on her own after a one-night stand, their friendship faces its greatest challenge. BABES delves into the complexities of female friendship with a blend of laughter, tears, and labor pains. From co-writers Ilana Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz and directed by Pamela Adlon, BABES is a hilarious and heartfelt comedy about the bonds of friendship and the messy, unpredictable challenges of adulthood and becoming a parent.

Run time: 104 Minutes, Rated R.

Watch the Babes Trailer

A Hard Comedy with Heart

BABES is a labor of love about two forever friends and the gritty, sometimes gory, giggly joy of parenthood, from childbirth to lactation breakthroughs and everything in between. “It’s a hard comedy with a lot of heart,” says Glazer. One created and crafted by a loving group of artists who gave their all to the project – which included fictional blood, (a lot of) real sweat and tears. It is a testament to the story they wanted to tell about the highs and lows and unavoidable messiness in life and with loved ones.

What’s great about the movie is the reality of it.  It’s a comedy of course, but there’s also the delight and joy of friendship and motherhood coupled with the mess! It talks about the fact that life as a mom of two is a whole different world than a mom of one experiences.

Everybody’s experience of parenthood is different, of course, but what I loved about the movie is that it shows some of the good, the bad, and the ugly –  while also being hilarious.

Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau are terrific in Babes, and they have a great chemistry together. It’s very believable that they’ve known each other their whole lives and are best friends.

What’s also great about this movie is that it’s a bit of a gross-out buddy picture, but women get to play the parts. The don’t shy away from any gross topics, and it seems like the filmmakers didn’t make anything off-limits.

So be forewarned: if you are not a parent already, or have not been around someone with a newborn, it may be a bit shocking – because there are jokes and situations dealing with the reality of birth, and labor, and all the challenges of juggling life with children.

Michelle Buteau and Ilana Glazer on the set of BABES Photo Credit to Gwen
Capistran, Photo Courtesy of NEON
Michelle Buteau and Ilana Glazer on the set of BABES Photo Credit to Gwen
Capistran, Photo Courtesy of NEON

Director Pamela Adlon

Adlon loved that adult female friendship was at the heart of the story. “When I read the script, immediately knew it was my sensibility. And when I met with Ilana and Josh, they wanted what I do and we had a love fest and it sealed the deal.” In that first meeting I just was like, ‘Well, I want to do this.’

They were like, ‘We want you to do this.’ There was no playing around. We all just said that we wanted to get married, right there.”Adds Adlon: “Ilana and Michelle are two masters at improvisation, at timing comedy, and I was just there to keep everybody grounded and give them a little bit more nuance and balance.”

The central focus of BABES is of course the relationship between Glazer’s Eden and Buteau’s Dawn, but there are a few good men here supporting women. “The men in this movie were cast in the same way that the women were, through authentic relationships and the New York comedy and art scene,” says Glazer. “Hasan Minhaj is in the same comedy class that Michelle and Josh and the Lucas brothers and I all come from. We’ve all known each other for 20 years. This movie is kind of like a high school reunion.”

Veteran thespians Oliver Platt and character actor John Carroll Lynch were perfect additions to the team as Eden’s absent father and her TMI-sharing OB-GYN, respectively.

The Heart of the Film

The heart of the film is of course “about female friendships and how important they are,” adds Adlon. “It’s so true that people outgrow each other and life changes change you. But honestly, it’s profound to see women really be there for each other.

When I showed my first cut to four of my friends, three of them were in tears,” she recalls. “They were saying, this is so important. We really need this.’ And I think the movie looks fabulous,” she continues. “Cinematographer Jeffrey Kim and I worked so well together and he’s a film school guy. “I am a film geek, and Annie Eifrig, my editor and I were able to create these gorgeous sequences out of minimal takes and maximal amounts of scenes that we packed into our days.”

Babes

Opening in Theaters May 17, 2024, check out Babes.

MomsLA was invited to a screening of the film in order to prepare this review. Images and quotes from the filmmakers were provided by the production, used with permission.

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