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发表于 2024-07-25 03:07:07 来源:粉妝玉砌網

When it comes to great comedies about female friendship, there's a range in tone, running from the bubbly fun of Clueless andRomy and Michele's High School Reunion to the raunchy joys of For a Good Time, Call...and Booksmartto the great gross-out gags of Girls Trip and Bridesmaids. Now, Babes has come to join their ranks, folding in all of the above, plus maternity mayhem. 

Before we even get to the premise, Babes is led by a trio of badass comediennes. Better Things' Pamela Adlon makes her feature directorial debut. Survival of the Thickest's Michelle Buteau co-stars with Broad City's Ilana Glazer, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Together, they tell a story of friendship that feels personal, poignant, bonkers, and distinctly New York. 

What's Babes about? 

Besties since they were kids, Dawn (Buteau) and Eden (Glazer) have a bond that even a husband can't compete with. When Dawn's water breaks for baby number two, Eden's not only the one taking a peek beneath her skirt to see how dilated she is, she's also the one urging this Manhattan mama to enjoy one last big brunch before that baby wrecks their planned hang. With an opening sequence involving much splashing of amniotic fluid, Babes makes its mark as a movie that gives no fucks about a squeamish audience, dealing in several kinds of bodily fluids and poop to boot.

The script by Glazer and Broad Cityscribe Josh Rabinowitz establishes these two women friends as on different adulting tracks. Dawn has a grown-up job as a dentist, a doting husband (Hasan Minhaj), a brownstone on the Upper West Side, and a pair of young kids, while Eden is a single yoga instructor whose one-bedroom apartment in hip but quirky Astoria is also her studio for classes. ("It's called fourth-floor walk-up yoga.") Where Dawn is balancing demands from kids, professional advancement, and struggles with breastfeeding, Eden's happily getting high and hooking up with a dashing aspiring actor (Stephan James) she met on the subway. 

OK, admittedly, that meet-cute sounds sketchy. Remarkably, Adlon makes New York's skunky public transit system a place of enchantment as the two strangers enjoy overpriced sushi, winding conversation, and an undeniable connection. But fate throws Eden a detour when this romantic tryst leaves her knocked up. As she grapples with what motherhood for her might look like, she turns to Dawn. However, the overworked mom worries her free-spirited pal might become another obligation in her already strained schedule. Can their friendship survive this pregnancy? 

Babes embraces the weirder aspects of female friendship. 

As hinted by the casualness with which Eden will take a peek at Dawn's vaginal canal, this is a friendship that is deeply intimate and largely judgment-free. When a stressed-out Dawn wants to get high on shrooms and pronounces she wants to be a cow (successfully delivering milk), Eden hands her the drugs and cheers her on. Like the lovable odd couple in Apple TV+'s Platonic, the daffy duo works because one of them can get wild while the other has her back. 

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This makes for sequences that are laugh-out-loud funny, in part because of Buteau and Glazer's candor and blinding charisma. It's not so much yes and as YES QUEEN AND! When it comes to body humor, bawdy humor, or potty humor, neither flinches. Their bold embrace of all of Babes' raunchiest jokes makes for punchlines and visual gags that hit like Mike Tyson. 

Glazer's Broad City energy lives on as she plays another adult who refuses to be defined by society's demands of boring decorum. So, when Eden comes up with a birth plan, of course it has a campy theme to which everyone — even a humorless doula — must commit without question. Even when she's at her most extra, it's easy to see why Dawn is drawn to Eden, who is optimistic and loving.

Buteau, who has been dynamic in comedy since she was stealing scenes in Key & Peele, brings a "don't fuck with me, fellas" energy to her no-nonsense New Yorker. But she brightens when the chance comes to cut loose. Together, the two bring out the best in each other, and it's hilarious. For instance, in a maternity photoshoot for Eden, they're on the same wacky wavelength, embracing their inner Beyoncé — even if they're in a teeny backyard that by standards outside of NYC would read less glamorous and more grungy. 

Babes is a proudly New York comedy. 

Hot on the heels of Julio Torres' Problemista, Babes showcases a version of New York that blends its possibilities with its problems. Where many comedies set in New York revel in the city's skyscrapers and picturesque landmarks, Babescelebrates the less romantic elements. Absurdly convoluted subway transfers, antiquated plumbing in high-cost homes, and eccentric doctors (played with panache by John Carroll Lynch and twin comedians Keith Lucas and Kenny Lucas) are not just plot points but world-building, creating an urban landscape where excitement and anxiety scatter like cockroaches, plentiful and alarming! 


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The distinction between Dawn's neighborhood and Eden's makes for a crisp visual picture of where they are in their lives, while the literal river between them warns of a distance that's getting harder and harder to overcome. Yet there's a clear affection for the city, not just from the characters, who relish in an annual tradition of a Thanksgiving movie in a near-empty theater, but also from the lead actresses, who stomp and skip down the sidewalk like they own it. The supporting cast, which also includes Sandra Bernhard and Oliver Platt, deepens this authenticity, with the actors playing friends and family who are naturally bursting with personality —  whether it's exhaustion, neuroses, or ardent empathy — the moment they appear onscreen. All the bit parts in this comedy come alive, down to a chatty plumber with a big heart. 

Everyone who crosses the paths of these two are memorable and amusing, and in this weird way, Babes pays tribute to New York and its weirdos, and all the rules they refuse to follow. Among them, Dawn and Eden are queens who, despite their hardships, see each other as they do the city: more fabulous than fucked up.

In the end, Babes is a comedy that is unabashedly outrageous and rambunctiously heartfelt. While you may howl with laughter and gasp at a gross-out gag, you'll also walk away with a big smile — and maybe a bit more appreciation for your own quirks.

Babes was reviewed out of SXSW 2024 and is now in theaters. 

TopicsFilmSXSW

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