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Olivia Munn: I Don’t Know How She Does It!

August 3, 2012

I get it: She’s hot. But how did Olivia Munn go from Attack of the Show-girl on a third-tier cable network (seriously, how many of you have the channel number for G4 at your fingertips?) to landing sweet jobs with Jon Stewart (as The Daily Show‘s “Senior Asian Correspondent”), Aaron Sorkin (as would-be money honey Sloan Sabbith on HBO’s divisive new drama The Newsroom) and Steven Soderbergh (as Channing Tatum’s buodoir buddy in Magic Mike) in only a few years? In that same span of time, she’s moved up from bit parts as news reporter Chess Roberts in Iron Man 2 and a snooty hostess in Date Night to a leading role in The Babymakers, an ostensible comedy debuting on VOD and in theaters today. What’s Olivia’s secret?

It’s certainly not her acting skills. Or maybe it is, because if she has any, she’s keeping them secret. Munn brings the same stiff, bland robo-presence to all of her roles, whether she’s playing Sarah Jessica Parker’s child-phobic coworker in last year’s unwatchable I Don’t Know How She Does It or a ticking biological time-bomb in The Babymakers. She underplays Audrey, a wannabe-mom who’s supposedly so baby-crazy she drives her husband to pull a bank job…wait for it… a sperm-bank job!

The Babymakers is the latest cinematic miscarriage from director Jay Chandrasekhar (whose incompetence I had the misfortune to witness first-hand during an ill-fated visit to the set of The Dukes of Hazzard movie). The gags run the gamut from crotch-injury montages—meant to explain why Munn’s onscreen husband, played by Parks & Recreation refugee Paul Schneider, can’t impregnate her—to a horse-porn parody. The sad fact is, with its low-rent production values and amateurish acting, it’s hard to tell The Babymakers apart from a below-average porno flick.

As a subject for satire, sperm banks were stale 20 years ago when Shelley Long and Corbin Bernsen tried to poke fun at them in Frozen Assets. While Chandrasekhar & Co. fail to find fertile comedic ground in the topic of infertility, there’s something strangely appropriate about casting Olivia Munn in a movie about a woman whose husband can’t knock her up. Every time she’s on screen, they’re shooting a blank.

Can somebody explain Olivia Munn’s appeal? I mean, aside from the obvious… 

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