Written by Onur Tukel and directed by Bob Byington, Infinity Baby is one of the hardest films I’ve had to describe to someone else. I guess it’s about a company that makes babies who remain babies forever, but that’s just a footnote throughout the film that rarely has any bearings on the plot. You can easily take out the movie’s plot and exorcise everything involving the titular infinity babies, and you’d still have a 75-minute movie. With that said, the film is uniquely fantastic. It has a solid cast that turns in eccentrically droll performances that wonderfully mesh with the black and white aesthetic style the film goes with. The comedy is bone dry and often times dark, but Infinity Baby is always mesmerizing and never boring.
“It accomplishes being both preposterously pretentious and damned funny.”
One of my reviews I’ve been given the most flak for is The Lobster; I didn’t enjoy it, but a lot of people apparently did. My gripes with that film were its severe lack of humor and complete waste of an interesting premise that was set aside for artsy fartsy shot design and weird acting choices. Infinity Baby is what The Lobster wished it was. It accomplishes being both preposterously pretentious and damned funny. There are lines that earned genuine laughs, and those lines were about killing babies. It’s not just the fantastic script; it’s also the brilliant direction and line delivery from the actors.
The film stars Kieran Culkin as Ben, a manic man-child with reservations about the concept of monogamous relationships. We watch as he goes on dates with women and he goes out of his way to sabotage them with the help of Megan Mullally’s character, Hester. Neo (played by Mullaly’s real life husband, the majestic Nick Offerman) is the head of Infinity Baby, a company in charge of adopting out immortal, non-aging babies who were created with stem cell tampering. Malcolm and Larry (played by Martin Starr and Kevin Corrigan, respectively) are two idiot employees of Infinity Baby who come up with a not so well thought out plan to extort $20,000. All of these plot threads are connected very loosely and only intersect momentarily. There’s also a cameo appearance from one of my favorites, Stephen Root, and the talented Noël Wells who was just simply wonderful in Netflix’s Master of None. Their roles are small here, but just like everyone else in this film, they deliver. Another noteworthy cast member is actress is Trieste Kelly Dunn playing the adorable Alison, a doomed love interest whose infectious laugh hilariously vexes the miserable Ben.
“The comedy is bone dry and often times dark, but Infinity Baby is always mesmerizing and never boring.”
Another thing I enjoyed about this film was the look; as noted previously it is a black and white movie, but the shot design was really unique. There were shots and angles that gave it a very surreal quality. Certain scenes featured static shots that were disturbed by sudden and erratic movement. None of these things felt distracting or out of place, the film really plays off of the sum of its parts; the shots compliment the script, the script compliments the actors, the actors compliment their framing and marks, etc. Everything about this film just works, I cannot emphasize that enough. If you’re in the mood for something a little atypical, I highly recommend Infinity Baby; it’s unique, absurd, strange, and memorable. The cast is superb, the look is distinctive, and the premise is fresh even if it’s not an integral part of the film as a whole.
Infinity Baby (2016) Directed by: Bob Byington. Written by: Onur Tukel. Starring: Kieran Culkin, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Martin Starr, Kevin Corrigan, Stephen Root, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Noël Wells