Metacritic (5/10), Letterboxd (2.5/5), Imdb.com (5/10), TMDB.com (5/10)

How disappointing it is when you see a movie that you were looking forward to only to walk away unimpressed, if not largely disappointed. So it is with director Pamela Adlon’s debut feature, a comedy-drama about the wild and crazy relationship between two lifelong thirtysomething New York BFFs (Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau) who share the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood while struggling to maintain the kind of free-spirited friendship they had before becoming mothers. The narrative consists of a series of vignettes – some outrageous, some touching, some serious – involving various aspects of their connection, their individual lives and their interactions with others. Unfortunately, these episodes are wildly inconsistent, regardless of their nature. Some work well (especially, surprisingly enough, those that get unapologetically down and dirty with unbridled raunchy humor), but most others fall stunningly flat for a variety of reasons. The biggest problem here is the writing, which frequently tries far too hard to make the material work. Some segments simply aren’t funny, relying on excessive exhausting mugging and overacting to win over audience members and unsuccessfully persuade them otherwise. Others are utterly preposterous and implausible (despite trying to come across as “zany” or “outrageous”), lacking credibility in terms of plot devices, character development and story flow. And others still are just plain inauthentic, particularly when driven by the strained chemistry between the two often-immature leads, whose supposed bond simply isn’t convincing. What’s more, when the film unsuccessfully tries to turn serious, scenes that are supposed to move and touch viewers don’t work, because the film doesn’t do enough to engender sufficient interest in the protagonists, their challenges or their relationship with one another. To its credit, the film features some fine performances by supporting cast members (John Carroll Lynch, Stephan James, Elena Ouspenskaia), but the leads grow progressively tiresome, especially the longer the movie drones on. In short, “Babes” is a big misfire that fails to deliver despite a few modest laughs along the way. Best bet for this one? Wait for it to come to streaming.