Writer: Casey LeeWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Father of the Bride 2”, “Nine Months” and “Knocked Up”
It is a little weird to expect anything from "What to Expect When You're Expecting"; a movie that is based on a best-selling factual (or truthfully terrifying) pregnancy guide by Heidi Murkoff, which was received as one of the bibles of expectant mothers, published in 1984. But if Hollywood can turn a boardgame into a lucrative movie (see: "Battleship"), pregnancy books should be just a piece of cake.
With director Kirk Jones and screenwriters Shauna Cross and Heather Hach given free reign on how to develop the movie, what came out is the lovechild of our beloved comedy pregnancy movies (except the one with Schwarzenegger) that slides more into comedy territory rather than sugarcoated hard facts of what to expect when you're expecting. "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is a collection of five couples in Atlanta (married or otherwise), from the accidental to the desperate and glamorous and infertile, that enter into parenthood from different paths and go through different experiences in the stages of nine months.
With nothing that outwardly resembles the source material other than the name (and one poor excuse for product placement), most of what can be said about "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is what you can expect from a comedy involving baby bumps. There are plenty of missed opportunities to impart some wisdom from the book that was meant to be a hand-holder from the first weeks to the end of the third trimester. Instead, they are substituted with fluid jokes (of the female variant), grossly embarrassing moments of bodily function and meltdowns ripe for the reality TV age. The end result is a nearly two-hour long anthology of character driven pregnancy stories that does not always connect well with audiences.
While Jules (Cameron Diaz), Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) show an imaginably small portion of the ups and downs of pregnancy, the movie does put some leverage with Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Holly (Jennifer Lopez) to show that not all paths to motherhood are as smooth going or normal as they can be, but the movie makes it not as impactful as they should be.
Despite the star-studded ensemble cast, half of which whom are not even real-life parents, the performance is not amazing but workable, though there are certain characters that could hardly get a giggle if they tried. The motherly pregnancy moments in this movie may tickle the maternal instincts of the ladies, but it does not chide the ever-faithful partners (like the ones who are accompanying their lady to watch this movie) from enjoyment with the presence of exemplary fathers like Vic (Chris Rock) and his posse of the 'Dude Group' or Ramsey (Dennis Quaid).
"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is technically sound on all fronts but not as memorable as having a firstborn, which should set your expectations that doesn't get any higher than baby number five in the family of pregnancy movies.Cinema Online, 15 May 2012