Kevin Heffernan as Wade and Paul Schneider as Tommy as in "The Babymakers." (Millennium Entertainment )
"The Babymakers" starts out as an agreeable, playfully off-color comedy of contemporary domestic manners and loses course to become a slack, tacky slapstick.
After months of trying to get his wife Audrey (Olivia Munn) pregnant, Tommy Macklin (Paul Schneider) is told by a doctor that his sperm are "confused." While reeling from this blow to his masculine identity, he hatches a plan to steal back a batch of semen he had donated to a fertility clinic years before.
On their own, just talking at dinner or alone in bed, Schneider and Munn are a winning pair, her high-energy type-A vibe playing well off his low-key delayed responses. But when the story shifts, and the now-infertile Schneider tries to steal back his healthy sperm sample, things fall apart.
Director Jay Chandrasekhar previously made likably odd comedies such as "Super Troopers" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" and directed episodes of sharp sitcoms such as"Arrested Development," "Community" and "Happy Endings."
He has a real feel for modern comedy, but the problem here seems to stem from a split focus. He's at once making a somewhat sensitive film about growing up and settling down and an unflinching raunchfest.
When a movie resorts to scenes of a grown man rolling around on a floor slick with spilled semen samples, something plainly has gone wrong.
"The Babymakers." MPAA rating: R for crude sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use. Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes. At the AMC Loews Broadway 4, Santa Monica.