Babes movie review & film summary (2024)


Dawn (Michelle Buteau) is a dentist with a devoted husband (Hasan Minhaj as Marty), a four-year-old son, and, as the movie begins, she is about to go into labor with a daughter. Her best friend since they were 11 years old is a yoga instructor named Eden (Ilana Glazer, who co-wrote the film with her “Broad City” colleague Josh Rabinowitz). 

Buteau and Glazer give Dawn and Eden the kind of effortless rhythm that comes from knowing each other down to the cellular level. Their connection is more than just support—they are each other’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders. It comes from a combination of history, chemistry, and intimacy that rejoices in endless and fearless curiosity about the most minor and trivial details of one another’s lives. When Dawn and Eden go to a movie on Thanksgiving morning for the 27th year in a row, and it seems like Dawn is leaking amniotic fluid onto the seats in the theater, Eden peers into Dawn’s perineum to confirm that, in fact, her water has broken, and it is time to go to the hospital. Eden is there for the birth, as well. Dawn and Marty would expect nothing less.

Eden then becomes unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand with Claude (a dreamboat played with effortless charm by the winning Stephen James). But he is quickly and permanently out of the picture, and Dawn promises to be there for Eden as they have always been for each other. Still, we can see some ambivalence in Dawn’s face when she assures her friend that she will be up to single motherhood, even when Eden does not. Eden may not hear the slight frostiness in Dawn’s voice when she corrects Eden for calling herself a “Black mother” (“You are not a Black mother. You are having a Black child”), but we do.

Dawn and Eden are not 11 anymore. Like everyone else juggling what Zorba the Greek called “the full catastrophe” of family, the friendship between adults gets complicated. Dawn struggles with finding time and emotional bandwidth for two young children, returning to work, and a plumbing disaster in her apartment. Eden has the challenges of pregnancy as a single woman with Dawn as her only support system. Each believes she has been let down by the other. That is shattering because of how fragile their support systems are and even more shattering because it forces them to question the romantic notion that their relationship could never be anything but limitlessly perfect.

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