Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

As depressing in its own way as 21 Grams, Mystic River, or The Magdalene Sisters, My Baby's Daddy can't be accused of misleading audiences. Its title, cast, and ad campaign promise 80 or so painful minutes of grotesque racial caricatures and amateurishly executed scatological gags, and that's exactly what it delivers. The film is ugly in every conceivable sense, aiming squarely for the lowest common denominator, yet somehow missing. Co-written by star Eddie Griffin, one of four collaborators on what passes for its script, My Baby's Daddy casts the Malcolm & Eddie alum as a hapless new father and "nice guy" (here, synonymous with "spineless abuse magnet") with the nasal talk and congested body language black comics often employ when imitating Caucasians. Michael Imperioli and Anthony Anderson sacrifice their dignity co-starring as Griffin's less-responsible friends, both of whom become fathers, for the sake of economy, at exactly the same time. Playing an ex-con tellingly nicknamed "No Good," Method Man steals each of his scenes, a crime roughly on par with pulling the tag off a showroom mattress. Perhaps the nicest thing that can be said of My Baby's Daddy is that it's consistent in its misanthropy and regressive stereotyping. Griffith's baby's mother is caricatured as a money-grubbing, liquor-swilling hoochie straight out of B.A.P.S., a similarly shameless and unnerving film. But this is an equal-opportunity offender: Those crazy, uptight white people are caricatured with just as much withering contempt as their black counterparts. My Baby's Daddy reflects poorly on everyone, particularly its makers, its stars, and the studio laboring under the delusion that this stuff was worthy of release.


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