(1970)2Craig ButlerA movie like The Baby Maker is inevitably dated, but the continued relevance of surrogate parenting makes its subject matter somewhat less dated than might be expected. While modern surrogate parenting situations rarely involve actual physical intercourse, those involved still may experience some very strong emotions and develop intense ties. Where Baby does date is more in its attitude and dialogue; at the time of the film's release, the dialogue was not necessarily 100-percent correct, but it was much closer than many other films that dealt with members of the counterculture. Still, there are moments -- such as Barbara Hershey's monologue before beginning the impregnation process -- that are embarrassing and/or laughable. While James Bridges manages to add a bit more depth and nuance to the characters and plot than might be expected, Baby is ultimately still nothing more than an "issues" melodrama and suffers from the limitations that the genre tends to impose. Bridges' directing is a bit stiff and tentative, although he does well with the impressive birth sequence. Hershey does very well as the title character, delivering even the wince-inducing dialogue in the most credible and believable manner possible, and the rest of the cast is also strong. As a movie, The Baby Maker has serious flaws, but it does capture an era very well.