Austin-based filmmaker Bob Byington has been on a roll lately. I didn’t care for Harmony and Me, which was the first of his films that I saw, but I enjoyed RSO [Registered Sex Offender] and 7 Chinese Brothers, and I really liked Somebody Up There Likes Me quite a bit. Byington continues the trend with his latest film, Infinity Baby.
At some point in the hypothetical future, lawmakers will pass a law that bans abortion but loosens restrictions around fetal stem cell research. One failed experiment resulted in around a thousand babies that don’t seem to age, so they’ll stay infants their whole lives. To deal with this, the company that owns the research lab created a subsidiary named Infinity Baby whose goal is to ensure that all of these babies get adopted. Any takers will be paid $20,000 for a three-month trial, and it’s not even that much of a hassle because the babies don’t really cry all that much, and they have special medication that only requires them to eat once a week, which also results in them only pooping once a week. Even still, it’s not easy to find people who will sign up to adopt a perpetual baby, and salesmen Larry and Malcolm (Kevin Corrigan and Martin Starr) aren’t having great luck. Meanwhile, their boss Ben (Kieran Culkin) is more concerned with forming short-term relationships (with characters played by Noël Wells, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Zoe Graham, and Martha Kelly) that he tanks when things start getting too serious, with the help of his mom (Megan Mullally). And Ben’s boss/uncle Neo (Nick Offerman) just spends all his time cleaning up after everyone’s mistakes.
It’s surprisingly difficult to concisely describe the plot for this movie because even though it’s only 80 minutes long, it keeps evolving and beginning new storylines. The one constant is that it’s consistently funny, often in dry and understated ways. It does seem a little disjointed at times, and it may well have been created from an unrelated set of funny ideas that were loosely stitched together, but it all does come together at the end.
It does occasionally have a kind of rough “indie” feel to it, especially at the beginning, and that might be off-putting to someone who isn’t used to that kind of thing (and maybe even to people who are). That idea may be even further bolstered by the movie being black and white rather than in color, for no apparent reason. But people who stick with it will probably have their efforts rewarded by what is ultimately a pretty entertaining film.