Michelle Buteau and Ilana Glazer’s Dynamic Partnership in ‘Babes’

A fantastic new film, Babes, recently hit theaters. In this film, Eden (Ilana Glazer) is a young woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. She looks to her best friend (Michelle Buteau) to guide her through the ins and outs of motherhood. Pamela Adlon directed and Ilana Glazer herself wrote this film, destined to be not only hilarious but heartwarming. One of the core reasons the film is so excellent, however, is the dynamic between the two main characters, Eden and Dawn, brought about by the ever-talented Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau. 

Who is Ilana Glazer?

Ilana Glazer is a comedian, writer and actor. She got her start at Upright Citizens Brigade. UCB is a comedy institution that has become known for showcasing some of the best comedic performances in the country. After taking classes at UCB, Ilana pursued improv and stand-up comedy in the city for several years.

She rose to fame when she created the Comedy Central series Broad City with her friend and fellow comedian Abbi Jacobson. The series centers around the devoted and loving best friendship between Abbi and Ilana. The two twenty-somethings navigate their dating lives and careers. They also pursue fun in the unrelenting but unbeatable city of New York.

Ilana’s character in Broad City is filled with an almost unheard-of level of self-assurance, shown in her sex-positivity and open queerness, her constant high-ness, and her ability to voice her opinion unapologetically at all times. Most importantly, she passionately loves her city and, above all, her loved ones. She is fiercely loyal and supportive of Abbi, a trait which captures the heart of anyone who watches the show. 

Who is Michelle Buteau?

Michelle Buteau has a similar background to Ilana. She performed stand-up comedy for about five years before landing some television roles, like in Key and Peele, Russian Doll, and, in fact, Broad City. In Broad City, Michelle plays the host of a nice restaurant that Abbi and Ilana visit, who has no patience for their shenanigans, and repeatedly calls Abbi “Abbo.” Though Ilana and Michelle’s relationship in Michelle’s appearance on Broad City is far more antagonistic than in Babes, their ability to bounce off of each other and act as foils was established in the few minutes that Michelle was on screen. 

In 2018, she hosted the acclaimed podcast Late Night Whenever!, leading her to land roles in four popular films in 2019: Isn’t it Romantic, Almost Love, Someone Great, and Always Be My Maybe. Fans of Netflix reality TV might recognize her as the host of The Circle, a social media-based competition show. In The Circle, Michelle hilariously voices opinions about the players and situations that manage to both poke fun at them and remain loving and empathetic towards them. 

Michelle’s career has only continued to flourish. Her 2020 Comedy Special Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Special. Also in 2020, she published a book of personal essays titled Survival of the Thickest, which was adapted into a Netflix series in 2023. 

Specializing in comedy of all forms, Michelle possesses a unique combination of dry, quick wit and a kind presence. She is truly delightful to audiences, be it on-screen, through a podcast, or on a page. 

Ilana and Michelle star in the new film Babes

It’s not surprising that when Ilana and Michelle got together to do Babes, it was nothing short of electric. Both mothers themselves (Michelle to twins, and Ilana to a daughter), they were able to capture the particular warmth of mothers, while still showcasing their individual personalities along with it. Michelle’s character Dawn is sharp and sarcastic. She is hardworking and driven. But at the same time, she is more than willing to be the life of the party when called upon. Conversely, Ilana’s character Eden is a dreamer, and an out-of-the-box thinker, who only takes the most necessary things seriously. At the same time, just as entertaining as Dawn. 

They share a fierce, almost familial love and loyalty to each other, and their comedic chemistry is undeniable. Together, they navigate the whole range of the human experience—laughter, anger, fun, and difficulty. Most importantly, they face the ups and downs of motherhood. Their charisma both together and separately makes you root for them throughout it all. While everything both Michelle and Ilana have done has been top notch, Babes is definitely not to be missed.

© Julia Lasker (6/30/2024) FF2 Media

LEARN MORE/DO MORE

Watch Babes here.

Want to learn more about Babes? Learn more about the film’s director, Pamela Adlon.

Check out Broad City here.

Watch Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia here.

Read Michelle Buteau’s book Survival of the Thickest here. 

CREDITS & PERMISSIONS

Featured photo: Michelle Buteau attends the New York film premiere of BABES (2024) at Angelika Village East in New York, NY on May 14, 2024. Image Credit: Stephen Smith / SIPA USA / Alamy Live News. Image ID: 2X6FJKG

Middle photo: Michelle Buteau, Pamela Adlon, Ilana Glazer attend the New York premiere of BABES (2024) at Angelika Village East in New York, NY on May 14, 2024. Image Credit: Stephen Smith / SIPA USA / Alamy Live News. Image ID: 2X6FKEW

Bottom photo: Actress Ilana Glazer, who plays Eden in the Pamela Adlon movie BABES (2024), greets fans outside the Paramount Theater in Austin at the film’s world premiere during the second day of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, TX on March 9, 2024. Image Credit: Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Live News. Image ID: 2WPYCMT

Tags: Babes, Broad City, female stand-up comedian, Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau, Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia, Pamela Adlon, Survival of the Thickest

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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