“Baker’s Men” announces itself with square credit letters resembling bright, freshly painted baby blocks. It’s a promising introduction to this chuckle-inducing short that takes on male/female differences from a child’s eye view.
Huddled in a sea of wood chips surrounding one of those garish, plastic playground toys slathered in loud yellows and purples, blonde Cindy and brunette Brianna enjoy a play date. As their conversation begins, however, we realize that the two tykes are advanced well beyond their five year-old peers. Nature versus nurture and genetic coding are two themes they bring up while observing two boys across the playground engaged in rough ‘n tumble play. They discuss gender differences from a patently feminist perspective, and it’s a hoot to watch.
When Cindy suggests to Brianna that they invite the two lads over to play, the idea is quickly squashed. “It would be too socially emasculating,” suggests Brianna with a sigh. “It will be years before they get in touch with their feminine sides.” The sophisticated banter continues, with Brianna asking her tow-headed companion, “Do you ever find it difficult to be enlightened at such a young age?”
Soon, the camera lifts away from its kid-friendly setting. “Baker’s Men” director Harriette Yahr abandons her talkative tiny tots as they continue to wax philosophical like two college students haunting a coffee shop, during this clever, kindergarten variation on “Thelma and Louise.”