What to Expect When You’re ExpectingDirector: Kirk Jones Writers: Shauna Cross, Heather Hach, and Heidi Murkoff Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Anna Kendrick, Chace Crawford, Elizabeth Banks, Ben Falcone, Brooklyn Decker, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Joe Manganiello, Rebel Wilson, Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey Original Music: Mark Mothersbaugh Cinematography: Xavier Pérez Grobet
Based off the popular parenting guidebook, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a movie about a bunch of pregnant people. The fact that all of these couples dealing with pregnancy are hot Hollywood stars is one good reason to see this movie. I suppose if you were in the stage of your life where you’re having kids, it would probably be a good look at what you’re in for. Considering I’m in no position to have children, I’m not sure that this comedy will really speak to my sense of humor. It also seems that whenever I see a huge ensemble cast like this, I always think about those other movies that feature a whole host of stars. The best of these kinds of films is the greatest romantic comedy of all time, Love Actually. But there are others out there who haven’t been able to handle the whole mess of people, such as New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope that the source material of a best selling book will make this a movie to remember, as opposed to sticking a bunch of famous names in a terrible story.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting follows several different couples as they prepare for parenthood. There’s the control freak fitness guru (Cameron Diaz) and her dancer boyfriend (Matthew Morrison), who are going to have a boy. A couple who can’t conceive (Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro) decide to adopt from Ethiopia. A one night stand turns into a lifetime of changing diapers for two cooks (Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford) who work in food trucks. Then there’s the woman who owns a baby supply store who is experiencing motherhood for the first time (Elizabeth Banks), alongside her mother-in-law (Brooklyn Decker) who is having twins. All of these characters are loosely related and facing the challenges of carrying children into this world.
Despite the fact that I will not be having children in the immediate future, I was still able to enjoy the humor in the situation. The whole movie has to deal with conceiving, carrying, and delivering babies and there are a lot of funny moments. From those awkward days dealing with the news that you’re going to be a parent, to the many different “joys” of being a fat, gassy, and irritable pregnant woman – there are a lot of times where I found myself laughing. I think the funnies parts of the movie were when future adoptive dad Alex spends time with a group of fathers who hang out together with their kids. When you have a bunch of guys, including Chris Rock, joking about things like “you don’t know love until you’ve wiped someone’s ass,” that’s just fun to watch. While you may decide that you never want to have children, you will definitely be laughing about these crazy parents.
There is one scene that has the most perfect music choice ever. When we first meet the group of dads who hang out at the park together, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” is playing in the background. Just picture it: Chris Rock, Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon, and Amir Talai walking down the street carrying babies in strollers and carriers strapped to their backs. There is a toddler strolling behind them carrying a Nerf sword with a bandage on his head. And every single one of them looks like a complete bad ass because they are walking it out to Biggie Smalls. You can get a glimpse of this moment in the trailer, when all the dudes are slo-mo walking to “Big Poppa”, but it is so much more awesome in the movie. Perhaps I’m biased because I love the song, but it’s still a really funny moment.
While the comedy is important, those romantic moments are also a big part of this kind of movie. When you have a bunch of couples in the stage of their relationship where they are having kids, the romance can be a little non-existent. But because there are a bunch of different couples, there is a diverse look at the many different kinds of relationships. The twosome who gets pregnant from a one night stand is easily the cutest couple while they are getting to know each other. Subsequent drama sort of makes them annoying, but it’s still really sweet to see Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford arguing about bacon (they are chefs). Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone (the Air Marshall from Bridesmaids) are also a great pair together. He’s the incredibly supportive husband with a wife going through a tough pregnancy, and their interactions are very loving and funny. It’s enjoyable watching all the couples going through the motions of love, even when they are freaking out over babies.
The Forced Drama
With every romantic comedy there is a point in the movie where things have to start going wrong because otherwise it gets boring. Sometimes it seems completely plausible that these strange things are happening when everything used to be perfect. Unfortunately, most of the time the drama can be completely ridiculous and you find yourself asking how that even makes sense. This didn’t happen with all of the couples, but for a few of them it just seemed silly that they were fighting. It was an obvious ploy to make the audience “unsure” of the outcome. But when you’re watching a movie like this, you know that there is only way this thing is ending – with everyone happy and together. I think the worst offenders of this “drama” were the one night stand couple. They break up when things get tough, but it seems to be for the stupidest reasons ever. This kind of forced conflict takes you out of the movie, and make it hard to enjoy the other fun stuff.
Weird Father/Son Relationship
While all the characters are loosely related in order to tie the story together, the two people that are actually family were just a little weird. Ben Falcone plays the son of a famous race car driver, played by Dennis Quaid. Both of them have young wives that are having children. Throughout the movie they are supposedly competing for everything. But one of them is a loving husband and father, the other is a clueless formerly famous dude married to a blond trophy wife. They are not at all alike, and I don’t see how they could be father and son. Another odd thing is that Quaid keeps referring to his young partner (Brooklyn Decker) as Falcone’s Mom – even though she is actually younger than her “son”. I suppose it’s meant to be funny that she is his “Mom”, but it just seemed strange to me.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
In truth, there is nothing really that special or original about What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s a cute romantic comedy that focuses on couples who happen to be having children. Even though it’s based on the popular book, I really don’t think there are any helpful tips that can be found within these scenes. Since that wasn’t what I was looking for, that didn’t actually effect how I felt about the story line. It’s cute and almost completely forgettable, with some laughs and lots of pretty people to look at. It’s a sweet and generic rom-com that everyone can enjoy.
Buy It, Rent It, Skip It
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a sweet and entertaining movie to rent with your girlfriends. Whether you’re single or expecting, there are some laughs for everyone. It’s not worth buying, unless you’re in the baby business. One viewing is enough to enjoy it. And if you’re a male or someone who hates the whole idea of formulaic romantic comedies, then you’re going to want to skip this entirely.
‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ Trailer