Nobody's Baby (2001) from Tuna

Despite the fact that Nobody's Baby (2001) is a low budget indie entry in the quirky comedy genre.

Gary Oldman and Skeet Ulrich play orphans and best buddies. Ulrich looked up to Oldman, even though he was dumber than shit, lazy, and got the two of them into and out of jail most of their lives. As the film opens, they are in the post office after hours, drunk as skunks, reading the mail. At their trial, the judge notices their records, decides they need to be separated, and sends them to different prisons. Jail is one thing, but being apart is quite another, so they escape while being transported from the courthouse. In the escape they are separated anyway.

Ulrich (Billy) is hitchhiking his way out of the state to Nevada. A family in a station wagon stops, and offers him a lift in exchange for fixing their flat tire. He changes the tire, and they split without him. Later down the road, he is in the back of a truck, and the station wagon pulls up behind him. He moons them, and the driver gets mad and tries to pass, crashing his car into an embankment. The truck driver isn't insured, so he departs the scene, leaving Billy to check out the wreckage. He finds everyone dead except a little baby. He rescues the baby, and sets out on foot, eventually finding a diner.

Between his boyish charm, and a really cute baby, he charms the waitress (Radha Mitchell) into taking him home to her trailer park, where we meet the rest of the exceptional cast. Mary Steenburgen is a bitter casino dealer who has just decided to put her fatherless baby up for adoption; Peter Greene is the drunken and abusive partner of Radha Mitchell; Anna Gunn is a chorus line dancer; and an elderly Indian called Dog is Anna's man. Billy then contacts Buford (Oldman), who joins him, convinced they can somehow turn the baby into a profit.

Since I highly recommend this film, I have only set the stage here. What follows is a series of bungled schemes to save the baby.

Scoop's note: Matthew Modine and Ed O'Neill, ol' Al Bundy himself, are also part of this noteworthy cast, albeit in insignificant roles.

I agree wit Tuna completely, with nothing to add. It is an odd blend of lowbrow slapstick and serious drama, a screwball comedy with a real heart. It all works surprisingly well, and might have been successful commercially, given the right breaks.


DVD info from Amazon



  • The major exposure is from Robyn Adamson, who is the fantasy fodder for, and ex girlfriend of Oldman. She shows full frontal in great light in two fantasy scenes, one lengthy.
  • Anna Gunn exposes her breasts very briefly, but in sunlight. She is magnificent.
  • Skeet Ulrich shows his bum when he moons the driver who stiffed him on a ride.

The Critics Vote


The People Vote ...

  • No box office. It went from film festivals (notably Sundance) to the home rental market.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C, maybe C+. (Scoop: C+) Its appeal is limited to those who appreciate quirky comedy, but it is currently in my top films of 2002. The baby is really cute, sentimentalists will relate to the morals and emotions, and every one will enjoy Oldman's brilliant performance as a dumbshit loser con man.

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