Ah, infertility comedies — always such a good time. You remember the way you yukked it up at “Maybe Baby” and “A Smile Like Yours,” don’t you? Oh, wait, you don’t? Exactly.
Still, you hear the premise of “The Babymakers,” from Broken Lizard comedy trouper Jay Chandrasekhar, and you hold out a bit of hope. Paul Schneider (TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) learns that he is the reason his wife (Olivia Munn, HBO’s “The Newsroom”) is not getting pregnant, so he turns to the sperm bank where he successfully donated a few years earlier. When the place refuses to return his sample, he and his buddies (Kevin Heffernan and Nat Faxon) plot a break-in. Get it? It’s a sperm-bank robbery. A lowbrow pitch, but with a dash of wit, anyway.
Trouble is, the movie makes the mistake of thinking that anyone is here for the honey-babe-sweetie rom-com stuff. There’s an awful lot of routine relationship filler between the outrageous bits. Or if not that, then shaggy, meandering riffs that feel like, well, troupe buds shooting the bull, when they should have been sharpening their story and moving it along.
Schneider and Munn have a sly chemistry that comes through in a couple of scenes — she’s also, don’t forget, a “Daily Show” vet and author of the geek lust-object memoir “Suck It, Wonder Woman!” — but too often she’s covering sub-Judd Apatow gal pals material. (The movie’s thoroughly cruddy look also doesn’t exactly ooze date-movie gloss.) Meanwhile, scenes with Chandrasekhar as a flaky, coked-up hood-for-hire are loud but flat. You’ll appreciate some funny backstory jokes about Schneider using his donor pay to buy Munn’s engagement ring. But crude “Doogie Howser” cracks? That’s just this crew amusing themselves.
When they all finally remember that, oh yeah, we’ve got a heist to get to, they end up backloading so much gross-out humor, it’s jarring. You’d have to guess that they’re fans of “There’s Something About Mary,” but where that movie’s signature gag stood out among a string of laughs, the squirminess stands out here because there’s so little going on the rest of the time.
Tom Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.