Review: ‘Oh Baby, A Baby’

Original German-language title -- "Two Women, One Man and a Baby" -- this Austrian telepic has been rechristened "Oh Baby, a Baby." Watchable but increasingly silly concoction puts a high-glam Viennese lesbian couple through flaming contrivances once they've decided to have a child.

Its formulaic nature rendered perhaps too obvious by the original German-language title — “Two Women, One Man and a Baby” — this Austrian telepic has been rechristened “Oh Baby, a Baby” and dubbed into English for hopeful international sales. A plastic rose by any name would smell this … plastic. Watchable but increasingly silly concoction puts a high-glam Viennese lesbian couple through flaming contrivances once they’ve decided to have a child. With character depth and logic at the mercy of sitcom-level sophistry, slick (if clearly tube-intended) pic looks likely to pick up just marginal cable/rental coin offshore.

Bossy brunette architect Sandra (Nicole Ansari) and ditzy blonde florist Iris (Eva Herzig) have been living together for eight years, though you wouldn’t guess it from their shallow, mutually petulant interactions. Relationship stasis has convinced Iris that it’s time to have a baby, though career-minded Sandra is less convinced.

Plot rigs a chance meeting between Iris and drop-dead-handsome Spaniard Antonio (Ralf Bauer), whom she promptly drafts for sperm donation — not realizing that he’s Sandra’s new co-worker and rival.

Already trite script abandons any realistic cohesion once Sandra decides she’ll bear the child instead, while indulging her own reluctant attraction toward Antonio; meanwhile, Iris moves in with their butch pal Rosie (Viktoria Schubert). A saved-at-the-altar climax triggers rote “happy non-traditional family” epilogue.

Scrubbed, well-dressed cast of cuties goes through its paces amid uber-yuppie-lifestyle settings, the surface gloss befitting skin-deep scenario. Results are pleasant enough on a fluff-telepic level, for better and for worse.

While competently done, English dialogue dubbing will still seem stilted and disembodied to auds where the practice remains out-of-fashion. Tech aspects are smooth.

Oh Baby, A Baby

Austria

Production

A DOR Film production in association with ORF and RTL. Produced by Dannny Krausz, Kurt Stocker. Executive producer, Manfred Fritsch. Directed by Wolfgang Murnberger. Screenplay, Sabine Reichel, adapted by Uli Bree, Rupert Henning.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Helmut Wimmer; editor, Uschi Erber; music, Stefan Bernheimer; set decorator, Anna Prankl; costume designer, Roswitha Kladnig; sound, Johannes Paiha; assistant director, Nadja Lang; casting, Barbara Vogel. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Festival, June 16, 2001. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Nicole Ansari, Eva Herzig, Ralf Bauer, Peter Matic, Viktoria Schubert, Sigrid Hauser, Alexander Pschill, Michael Gampe, Barbara Demmer, Heidelinde.
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