After seeing Neighbors, I thought that this has to be the best comedy ever to be centered on a baby. The concept isn’t often a respected one. All the usual diaper jokes and pee-in-the-face gags and whatnot has been done to death in so many movies over the years, and it doesn’t matter if one movie has three dads instead of one or if the baby has an inner voice provided by Bruce Willis or the babies are geniuses. They tend to be lame, the whole lot of them. I say that even now that I’m a parent and can relate to them. In fact I might find most of them even worse now that I should be able to identify.
Neighbors isn’t a comedy about a baby but its situation does revolve around the infant daughter of Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne’s characters, a couple that wants to remain hip but also be responsible at the same time. Their war against a fraternity that moves in next door is based primarily in the fact that they have a baby who needs to sleep. If it weren’t for that little girl waking up from the noise, the couple might keep on thinking it’s cool that they have an infinite party going on mere steps away. Especially since they can’t seem to make it as far as a club.
There is some humor specific to having a baby. The couple jokes about how their daughter’s first word might be a foul one. There is a gag involving breast milk. A bit where the kid finds a condom and puts it in her mouth followed quickly by a mad dash through a hospital hallway seems reminiscent of other more baby-focused comedies, just maybe a bit grosser. And in the very end, there’s a reminder that this movie is all about new parents who have an adorable little munchkin, and hey let’s see what she looks like in funny costumes.
But is it indeed the best? The funniest? Eventually I realized that the honor rightfully still goes to Raising Arizona on both counts. The early Coen brothers movie uses a baby as a kind of MacGuffin. There aren’t a whole lot of new parent or baby jokes or gags, at least none of the usual. Little Nathan Jr. is treated like a bag of money.
I’m also still a fan of Baby Boom, because I can enjoy Diane Keaton in just about anything. Also, Shoot ‘Em Up is a pretty underrated live-action cartoon about a hit man guarding a baby during many a gunfight. I might be in the minority for not disliking Ghostbusters II, which revolves around Dana’s child. However, I can’t think of a single movie about pregnancy that I consider to be any good. Maybe another Rogen movie, Knocked Up, but it’s been a while since I saw that one and I honestly can’t remember what was funny about it.
What is the best comedy film to center on a baby?
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