Cinema Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

DIR: Kirk Jones • WRI: Shauna Cross, Heather Hach, • PRO: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, David Thwaites • DOP: Xavier Pérez Grobet • ED: Michael Berenbaum • DES: Andrew Laws • Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Rodrigo Santoro

First things first, the tagline for this movie: ‘It’s Too Late To Pull Out Now; while it would’ve been funny and suitable for Knocked Up 2, is far and away the most risqué thing about What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Following on from the ‘hit’ adaptation of self-help book He’s Just Not That Into You, comes this big screen version of a book aimed at the pregnant every-woman. But even these two criteria, ‘pregnant’ and ‘every-woman’, aren’t met by this sub-par rom-com, with one couple adopting a baby from Africa, another couple dealing with the aftermath of NOT having a child together, and as for the ‘every-woman’ part…

Jennifer Lopez is a marine photographer, Cameron Diaz is a fitness show host, Brooklyn Decker is the trophy wife of a race-car driving champion, Elizabeth Banks is a baby-book author/baby-store owner and Anna Kendrick is embroiled in a fast-food van turf war. Every one of these women are superstar beautiful, each paired with a perfect husband/boyfriend (Rodrigo Santoro, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Ben Falcone and Chace Crawford, all uniformly underwritten), with not a single single-mother to be found, and not a single cliché about new-fathers left untapped.

But this movie really was always going to be about and for the women, and that would be fine too, if they hadn’t left the movie almost devoid of laughs. There are one or two good lines from Chris Rock and co. as the Father’s Club (‘It’s like Fight Club, but with strollers.’ That wasn’t one of the good lines), and Elizabeth Banks has some fun with her character’s bi-polar mania, although after playing pretty much the exact same role in Scrubs and 30 Rock, she should check she’s not being pregnant pigeonholed.

If you want a funny film about pregnancy, go watch Knocked Up again, whereas WTEWYE is bland, safe and completely inoffensive. And who in this world thinks pregnancy is any of those things?

Rory Cashin

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is released on 25th May 2012

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Official Website

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