Thursday, September 15, 2011
Up All Night: OMG We Have a Baby!
Up all night, starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, is a comedy about two 30-something carefree partiers (Reagan and Chris) who are forced to grow up when a positive pregnancy test catches them by surprise. Months later, the dust has settled, their newborn baby girl Amy is asleep in the next room, and Reagan and Chris have somewhat adjusted to their new situation. But they still pull themselves out of a groggy haze in the morning to the jarring realization that “Oh My God we have a baby!”. They coo over their daughter like any normal parent…they just haven’t managed to skip the cuss words yet. “She’s so f**kin beautiful”.
Reagan is returning to her job as a producer for an Oprah-esque talk show, hosted by the eccentric Eva (Maya Rudolph), while Chris plays stay-at home daddy to Amy. They’re putting their best feet forward, but neither of them are super confident in the arrangement. As Chris accidentally puts it “ Worry babe, we can totally do this”.
Up All Night is by no means a laugh-out-loud comedy. I don’t think I chuckled or guffawed once while watching the premiere. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t funny. There’s something inherently charming and amusing about these characters because they feel very real:
-They bicker over who is getting less sleep or whose job is hardest.
Reagan: "At least you don’t have to work"
Chris: "Yeah ‘cause raising a human is no work at all"
-Reagan misses her daughter and wishes she could spend more time with her. Chris feels restless and out his element at home
Chris: “When did grocery stores get so big. I kind of feel like I’ve never been in a grocery store before”
-They worry about resenting each other and break into random rants about Amy’s inevitable emotional problems resulting from their tumultuous marriage.
It all feels refreshingly…normal! The humour doesn’t come from zany situations and wacky mishaps, it blossoms from the fears, worries and shortcomings that all of us - whether we’re parents are not - struggle with.
Reagan and Chris love being parents, but they can’t let go of their wild child days all together. After a misguided Anniversary booze-fest they find themselves nursing severe hangovers while their daughter wails for attention.
That’s not to say it was a perfect half-hour. There were some stale jokes that don’t didn’t really hit their mark; Reagan struggling to zip up her pre-pregnancy skirt, Chris drinking beer and watching Hockey with Amy. And as much as I love Maya Rudolph, I found Eva a little over the top. I enjoyed her interactions with Regan and Chris outside the office. She’s not sure what to do with two people who just traded late night shooters for early morning feedings. As a clueless singleton, they are a foreign species to her. But the production company antics - jittery assistants and deadly juice cleanses - felt like snippets of a totally different show.
I am not ashamed to say that I actually teared up during the last scene of the episode. Reagan and Chris are spending a lazy Saturday lying on a picnic blanket with Amy and Reagan promises her daughter that she’ll always be there when she wakes up in the morning. She’ll be there for her first tooth, her prom night….
Reagan: "And when you go off to college, I’ll get an apartment nearby and maybe audit a class or two. But you can still drink and date boys ‘cause I’ll be cool”
Chris: “Don’t worry Amy I’ll stop her”
Reagan: “You’ll be dead sweetie. You won’t be able to stop me…And then when you come to visit me in the nursing home and they ask me who’s there to see me. I’ll say it’s my daughter Amy”
It was a messed up, modern version of the Robert Munsch book my mother used to read to me, “I Love you Forever”.
Will I Watch This Again:
Absolutely! I’m charmed by it’s combination of offbeat humour and poignancy.
Ratings: I’m happy to report that the numbers were great. Up all night attracted 10.91 million viewers and posted a 3.7 in the 18-49 demo, besting every other program including America’s Got Talent and Survivor.