Tag Archives: Erinn Hayes

Three Men and a Baby

The Donor Party

by Tori Hanes

Ah, the days of early aughts romcoms. Do you remember turning off your brain for 90 full minutes while the cinematic equivalent of white noise lulled you? Could it be considered brave for a film released in 2023 to pivot on its heels back to this genre of gooey nothingness? If so, The Donor Party by director Thom Harp deserves a Purple Heart.

Following wanna-be mother Jaclyn (Malin Ackerman) through her misguided – and frankly, morally challenged – quest for self-insemination, The Donor Party does little to endear itself to audiences through its clunky plot. The hook- one night, three unknowing sperm “donors”, and a woman watching her biological clock click closer to midnight- is one better left in the aughts.

The story bobs and weaves awkwardly, causing fatigue for both the audience and, seemingly, the performers. The cutesy setup of quirkily tricking men into fatherhood immediately stings and continues to rest like a hot iron branding the forearm.

The film finds its footing through the natural chemistry and charisma that the performers practically beg you to acknowledge. Having pulled a crew of stealthily loaded comedic talent, Harp allows for long moments of play from his actors. In these beats of palpable improv, the humor, depth, and charm of The Donor Party shimmers.

Rob Corddry, Bria Henderson, Erinn Hayes, and Dan Adhoot bring a warmth and passion so rarely seen in mid-to-low-budget romcoms that it’s occasionally staggering. A particular scene with Erinn Hayes (who plays up-tight, accidentally drugged host Molly) lamenting to Jacyln about her march toward stagnation while high off her rocker in a pool strikes as one of the more sincere moments in the recent memory of movies.

It’s fun. The story gets caught up in itself at the expense of any sort of meaning, the plot feels icky at times, but Harp couldn’t have picked a more affable crew. If you’ve long missed the washing glow of aughts-based goof, The Donor Party is for you.

Dr. Whoa

Bill & Ted Face the Music

by George Wolf

You know why Death (William Sadler) was really kicked out of Wyld Stallyns?

Well, I’d tell you, but that would take the number of laughs waiting for you in Bill & Ted latest romp down to two…maybe three.

It’s been almost 30 years since their Excellent Adventure gave way to the Bogus Journey, but Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are still best buds. Now living in the suburbs, each has the wife that they brought back from Medieval England (Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays), plus a daughter (Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine) that is the younger version of their most excellent dad.

Though they still rock out, Ted is ready to hang up his guitar until the future comes calling.

It’s Kelly (Kristen Schaal), daughter of their old pal Rufus (George Carlin, thanks to a well-placed hologram), with news from the Great Ones. The boys have exactly 77 minutes to play their song that united the world, or reality will collapse.


While it’s nice to know Bill & Ted will finally achieve musical greatness, the world needs that song right now. So why not go into the future, steal it from themselves, then come back and get quantum physical?

Director Dean Parisot, who helped make Galaxy Quest an underrated cult classic, teams with original franchise writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon for a time-traveling ode to living in harmony. This time, the historical figures we meet are mainly musical (Mozart, Satchmo, Grohl), but while the journey is long on sweetness and good-natured stupidity, it just isn’t very funny.

After all these years, Reeves and Winter make an endearing pair of overgrown adolescents, and they do seem genuinely joyful about stepping back into that magical phone booth.

The joy that you get from Face the Music will likely match up perfectly with the amount of nostalgia you have for this franchise. The film’s present isn’t bad, either. Because theaters are opening again, and God knows we’re all longing for a simpler time right now.

For almost 90 minutes, Bill & Ted make sure we get one.