What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)

What to Expect When You're Expecting
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Sexual references and coarse language

Director: Kirk Jones
Actors: Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Brooklyn Decker, Dennis Quaid, Chace Crawford, Joe Manganiello, Genesis Rodriguez, Rodrigo Santoro, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Rebel Wilson, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Megan Mullally, Thomas Lennon, Rob Huebel, Ben Falcone, Amir Talai

A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 100mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Ill-conceived
by Simon Miraudo,

When historians of the future - or, more likely, our inevitable alien rulers - examine the early days of the 21st century, they will note a surge of interest in celebrity child-rearing. There has always been a big cultural fixation on famous people with mysterious baby bumps, going all the way back to the Virgin Mary. But not even the Madonna could have scored as lucrative a deal with pictures of the newborn Christ as Brad and Ange did with their spawn Shiloh. Perhaps the greatest example of our obsession was Beyoncé's onstage unveiling of the life growing inside her at the 2011 MTV Awards; an event of such magnitude it broke Twitter and precipitated the first ever coronation of a fetus into the highest echelons of Hollywood royalty. Trashy mags suspect certain celebs of having been knock...

When historians of the future - or, more likely, our inevitable alien rulers - examine the early days of the 21st century, they will note a surge of interest in celebrity child-rearing. There has always been a big cultural fixation on famous people with mysterious baby bumps, going all the way back to the Virgin Mary. But not even the Madonna could have scored as lucrative a deal with pictures of the newborn Christ as Brad and Ange did with their spawn Shiloh. Perhaps the greatest example of our obsession was Beyoncé's onstage unveiling of the life growing inside her at the 2011 MTV Awards; an event of such magnitude it broke Twitter and precipitated the first ever coronation of a fetus into the highest echelons of Hollywood royalty.

Trashy mags suspect certain celebs of having been knocked up, and countless readers breathlessly join in on the speculation. Are we just looking for the last vestige of humanity in these perfect-seeming icons? Proof that ultra-talented and unattainable fembots like Angelina and Beyoncé are indeed human? Or, is there a more malicious intent? Do we derive pleasure from imagining these immaculately made-up ladies going through the same painful, wonderful, degrading, exhausting experience of giving birth like the rest of womankind? Kirk Jones' What to Expect When You're Expecting, much like the countless features of its ilk that have come before, hopes its the latter.

Based on Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel's notably plot-free pregnancy manual of the same name, WTEWYE follows the template of all the other ensemble rom-coms released in Love Actually's wake (and what a consistently disappointing output it has wrought): a bunch of tangentially related characters, played by stars you like, pair up in various pleasing combinations. What to Expect mercifully flips the script mildly and eschews the romancing by focusing on the couples' struggle to conceive, deliver, adopt, and/or raise children. That is where Shauna Cross and Heather Hach's screenplay dumps originality however. It covers all the complications that occur while awaiting the arrival of a kid; well, except for poverty, illness, unpreparedness, broken relationships, and crippling emotional trauma. It does give us a seemingly endless and ultimately irrelevant debate about whether or not one should circumcise a boy though. The one storyline with a somewhat serious edge is totally abandoned half-way through the picture. Maybe it's not fair to criticise a light-hearted comedy for only broaching the least-sensitive of topics, but I do so to highlight that what we get instead is well-trodden ground.

The mommies in question: Elizabeth Banks, as a baby boutique shop-owner struggling to maintain her grace with a particularly gassy bub; Brooklyn Decker, her super-young mother-in-law who picked up a warm glow and seemingly no other side-effects; Cameron Diaz, a TV fitness instructor carrying the unanticipated progeny of her dancing instructor (Matthew Morrison); Anna Kendrick, a food-trucker who drunkenly slept with a former crush and current professional rival (Chace Crawford); and Jennifer Lopez, as an Anne Geddes-inspired photographer looking to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband (Rodrigo Santoro). The characters all have names, but really, what's the difference?

I haven't even mentioned competitive father and son Dennis Quaid and Ben Falcone, the husbands of Decker and Banks respectively. There is also the 'Dude's Group' - Chris Rock, Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon, Amir Talai, Joe Manganiello - who help Santoro adjust to being around little ones. Theirs are the best sequences, admitting (in a no judgement environment) that sometimes they accidentally hurt their kids, or find them swimming in the toilet, or discover they've eaten a cigarette whilst on their watch.

Although everyone - from the always reliable Banks and Kendrick to the risky inclusions Decker and Crawford - gets a nice scene or two, they're ultimately betrayed by a generic script and lacklustre direction. Not a single beat is unforeseen, and, with this many characters to contend with, it's hard to really invest in any one storyline. Judd Apatow's Knocked Up centred on one impending birth, but it also had a host of memorable actors in supporting roles with their own varying degrees of conflict. That film told a story. What to Expect just counts down the nine months. Despite an immensely appealing cast and a few funny moments, I would only recommend What to Expect at a 'push'. The eggs are there; someone just forgot to fertilise them.

2.5/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (40)

Quite watchable but not a great movie.
Posted Wednesday, 9 April 2014 See my other reviews
Famous actors but not worth watching
Posted Friday, 4 April 2014 See my other reviews
Sarah S
says
Good but not saying great!
Posted Monday, 6 January 2014 See my other reviews
Lynnieb
says
Bit of a time killer. They always ruin movies by going over the top. Few laughs.
Posted Sunday, 29 December 2013 See my other reviews
Can't actually register lower than one star. It astounds me how Holllywood can spend these budgets on completely banal and pathetic outcomes. Had good premise, the book is massive, this film is appalling.
Posted Friday, 20 September 2013 See my other reviews
Denise
says
Ridiculously funny but worth a laugh. It can also quite graphic for a comedy witch I think is unnecessary
Posted Thursday, 19 September 2013 See my other reviews
Jen
says
Not a bad film, not great but quite watchable. I found some parts to be quite touching, the scene in Ethopia for instance. Actors generally did a good job and i loved the klutzy little kid.
Posted Monday, 16 September 2013 See my other reviews
loretta
says
good movie
Posted Saturday, 22 June 2013 See my other reviews
lesley
says
loved it .....
Posted Monday, 17 June 2013 See my other reviews
Jess
says
Good movie! Some good acting, and funny parts. Definitely not offensive, easy viewing on a rainy night with a cup of tea. Chris Rock is one funny guy!
Posted Thursday, 13 June 2013 See my other reviews
Allan
says
Don't bother watching,great actors with a not so great script.
Posted Wednesday, 29 May 2013 See my other reviews
The dads club in this movie was very funny!! These parts had me laughing hard!
Posted Tuesday, 7 May 2013 See my other reviews
Cammo
says
This was just ok. Not overly funny, boring in parts, and most of the characters are annoying and unlikeable. End is predictable and I really expected more from all the big name actors.
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
WIfey83
says
Meh this was ok... general good time movies. Hits afew realistic turns of life but a nice movie. If youa re having a girlie night, be one to pickfor a laugh/smile and cry.
Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 See my other reviews
Kay
says
I expect more having read the book and 3 children. Was nearly asleep in the end.
Posted Thursday, 18 April 2013 See my other reviews
Flik
says
A great chick's movie and even our dad! We found it to be laugh out loud funny and well worth it. So much so we are going to go buy it and add it to our collection. Not sure many guys would get kicks out of this film but girls will. 4/5
Posted Wednesday, 10 April 2013 See my other reviews
Ann E.
says
I enjoyed this movie, it has a different storyline and was well acted by the cast (except I would have expected more from the 'biggger' names). It has fun and comic scenes but also a tinge of a sadder time for one couple. Not sure why I didn't rate it higher. . . . just not as 'captivating' as I was expecting it to be.
Posted Thursday, 28 March 2013 See my other reviews
whel
says
very good and funny!
Posted Friday, 15 March 2013 See my other reviews
dan
says
ok for a girly movie
Posted Thursday, 28 February 2013 See my other reviews
Thought it would be funnier. I love Rebel Wilson, they could have done so much more with her character.
Posted Thursday, 28 February 2013 See my other reviews
Was ok. Not a movie id rush to see again though. Chris Rock needed more lines. Cameron Diaz...very disappointing.
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
Sandy
says
Enjoyed it more than expected, quite funny in parts and sad in others, worth a watch. A bit like Love Actually. Nice movie.
Posted Tuesday, 19 February 2013 See my other reviews
Ros M
says
Hilarious especially to those of us who have had children. Noted that it covered couples becoming parents by all different means. Fun filled, feel good movie.
Posted Monday, 18 February 2013 See my other reviews
golfskirt
says
If you are having problems falling pregnant or keeping babies (miscarriages), don't watch this. We gave up on having kids a couple of years ago and this movie just brought it all back...
Posted Wednesday, 13 February 2013 See my other reviews
Purplesuse
says
What with the amount of stars in this, I was expecting something really out of the box, going by the reviews below, but unfortunately, I was very disappointed! Storyline, whilst based on a best seller, wasn't in the least bit funny, I think I may have "grinned" twice. A complete waste of time, don't bother!!
Posted Sunday, 10 February 2013 See my other reviews
Not funny. Incredibly boring. Found myself not caring about any of the characters and didn't bother with the last 10-15 minuted of the movie but switched it off. Has absolutely nothing to do with the famous pregnancy manual except that the characters are pregnant. Seriously don't bother.
Posted Tuesday, 22 January 2013 See my other reviews
Harlowe
says
Hard not to enjoy this movie, seeing pregnancy from the experiences of women who find it a breeze to a nightmare, and the perspective of fathers who vacillate between finding it a happy to harrowing thing. Jennifer Lopez and Elizabeth Banks are very good at comedy. Cameron Diaz is a given at that genre. Brooklyn Decker is the super annoying 'breeze' category pregnancy and Dennis Quaid could have done his part with his eyes closed. Probably not too far removed from his own lifestyle. They even throw in some potential and real adversity to break things up.
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2013 See my other reviews
Prof. V.
says
This movie is not really a comedy per se, and does not qualify as a chick-flick. Hence gentlemen, it is worth watching with your female companions. The story looks at various types of women who have certain expectations during their pregnancy and also looks at a couple's experience during the unfortunate miscarriage. As usual Cameron Diaz delivers on performance. One may be able to relate to the characters as the producer has generalised several types of expectations! Worth watching any time.
Posted Wednesday, 9 January 2013 See my other reviews
the beginning is a bit torturous but it has its funny moments if you stick with it. over all I enoyed it even if it is cliched and a bit dated in its humour
Posted Saturday, 5 January 2013 See my other reviews
Fiona
says
Great movie!
Posted Saturday, 5 January 2013 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
What a great movie all about the good and bad bits of pregnancy. Really recommend this to everybody to watch. I especially loved the dads club!
Posted Saturday, 10 November 2012 See my other reviews
Melzy
says
It was funny in parts ... It is probably not something I would go out of my way to buy and add to my dvd collection but certainly worth a look... I think parents would relate better than pple without kids :)
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2012 See my other reviews
Funny movie!
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2012 See my other reviews
BailsMum
says
A hillarious roller coaster comedy that every mum (& I'm sure dad) can relate to, the boyfriend and I were both in stitches at different points. I've never been a fan of Rebel Wilson, but she is certainly a laugh & a half in this. Adding this one to the permenant collection!
Posted Wednesday, 24 October 2012 See my other reviews
This movie was boring!! I found it hard to concentrate and follow the storyline!
Posted Saturday, 20 October 2012 See my other reviews
Kim
says
While I don't think this is a buy and keep watching movie I found it funny and entertaining and it was great and entertaining to see the honesty in pregnancy and birth and relate it. Very enjoyable movie
Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 See my other reviews
does anyone know the release date for this DVD?
Posted Friday, 17 August 2012 See my other reviews
Steph
says
Funny!
Posted Tuesday, 14 August 2012 See my other reviews
MC
says
Hilarious movie. Light and easy to watch. Would love to know what someone without kids thinks of this, as I found it very realistic - can think of someone I know to relate to every character. Rebel Wilson added a special type of humour too - must watch it!
Posted Sunday, 22 July 2012 See my other reviews
danni
says
light and funny :)
Posted Tuesday, 26 June 2012 See my other reviews