Speculate about this for a bit: What is the worst possible time for an evangelist bearing Jesus pamphlets to come to the front door? During your Seder? Nah, not even close. While you’re berating a misbehaving child at an embarrassing volume? Maybe.
“The Babymakers,” a madcap comedy that detours into vulgarland every now and then, has its own answer to that question, and once you’ve seen the scene, you may be ready to declare the case closed. You may also be inclined to disconnect your doorbell.
The movie, whose brain trust includes some members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, which was behind films like “Beerfest” and “Super Troopers,” has a premise built for gags and takes full advantage of it.
Tommy (Paul Schneider) and Audrey (Olivia Munn) are a young couple who are ready to try parenthood but have trouble conceiving. After a funny sequence in which a lot of unsolicited, often unprintable advice comes their way, they go to a doctor and learn that Tommy’s sperm aren’t up to the task.
“They look drunk,” Audrey says, as the doctor shows them a slide. For the record, ladies, that’s the kind of comment from which a male ego might never recover.
Years earlier, before his sperm became drunkards, Tommy contributed to a sperm bank, which turns out still to have one sample left. Trouble is, it’s already spoken for. So Tommy and some friends, among them the enabling Wade (Kevin Heffernan, doing his always amusing loutish thing), decide to break into the sperm bank and steal it.
Jay Chandrasekhar, who directed the film, plays the inept criminal they hire to help them. And if you’re thinking that this whole plot is a setup for a revolting sperm-related scene that rivals anything in “There’s Something About Mary,” you’re right.
Delivered with sloppy, gleeful confidence, the movie is smarter than most gross-out comedies but isn’t afraid to inspire an “Ewww.” Ms. Munn, whose role in the HBO drama “The Newsroom” is becoming richer as that series goes on, is bewitching as she continues to build one of Hollywood’s more eclectic résumés. And, as a public service, the film even manages to work in a discussion of the proper use of “who” and “whom.”
“The Babymakers” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian), as you might have guessed from almost any sentence above. It has sexual content, bad language and a little drug use.
Opens on Friday in New York, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego.
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar; written by Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow; director of photography, Frankie Demarco; edited by Brad Katz; music by Edward Shearmur; production design by Katie Byron; costumes by Tricia Gray; produced by Jason Blum, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Mr. Chandrasekhar; released by Millennium Entertainment. In Manhattan at the Village VII, 66 Third Avenue, at 11th Street, East Village. Running time: 1 hour 33 minutes.
WITH: Paul Schneider (Tommy), Olivia Munn (Audrey), Kevin Heffernan (Wade), Wood Harris (Darrell), Jay Chandrasekhar (Ron Jon), Nat Faxon (Zig-Zag) and Aisha Tyler (Karen).
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: August 7, 2012
A listing of credits on Friday with a film review of “The Babymakers” misstated the surname of the actress who plays Karen. She is Aisha Tyler, not Taylor.