Thanks to Roadshow Films, we had the chance to see What To Expect When You’re Expecting before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
Directed by Kirk Jones, the film uses the same formula as Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Love Actually and He’s Just Not That Into You in telling the story of 5 interconnected couples who are expecting a child in their family. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick, we are taken on a journey of how people prepare for this life-changing event from the moment they first hear the news to the moment of delivery after 9 months of rollercoaster ride. Sadly for some who cannot conceive naturally they still decide to adopt a baby from abroad to fulfill their wish of having a complete family.
Unlike its formulaic predecessors, this movie has less characters and plots which allow more time and effort to focus on each story in-depth. We are not confused by who’s who, what is happening when or why did how come about amidst millions of personalities, connections and things going on. There is an example of every major scenario for when you’re expecting such as Wendy’s (Elizabeth Banks) emotional meltdown, Skyler’s (Brooklyn Decker) smooth sailing pregnancy and Jules’ (Cameron Diaz) tough ‘I-can-do-it’ attitude; and the men’s part in this whole phenomena really touches base with genuine sentiments, humor and thoughts.
Therefore we find quite a few actors’ performance in this movie worth mentioning including Jennifer Lopez making the trip to Africa to adopt a baby really moving as she glows naturally as a mother (nevertheless reminding us of the fad of celebrities adopting babies from develop ing countries like Madonna, Angelina Jolie etc); Cameron Diaz shining in her role as fitness trainer trying to tackle job, relationship and pregnancy all at once; Chris Rock as a dedicated father and ‘founder’ of the ‘Dude Group’ who takes their kids to the park for catch up time; or Dennis Quaid playing a rich retired racecar driver who overshadows his son in everything.
However, we are a bit wary of some of the elements in the film often used to trigger laughter e.g Rebel Wilson’s dumb blondness (as seen in Bridesmaids) or Joe Manganiello showing off his physique amongst a bunch of nerdy dads. Moreover, it is as if by casting eye candies (Joe Manganiello as mentioned above, Rodrigo Santoro and Chace Crawford), the film will attract more female audience or make the subject of pregnancy more appealing. Luckily, there are a few issues being dealt with in the film which gives it depth and substance beyond the ‘looks’, i.e. Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco’s young love being tested as a result of the pregnancy.
Overall, What To Expect When You’re Expecting is an enjoyable movie which has its laugh out loud moments and serious times. Highly recommended for parents or mother and father-to-be’s, it entertains and somewhat prepares couples who want children or are expecting new members to their family. Perhaps because it does revolve around a much more realistic topic (child-bearing), the film may lack certain romantic WOW factor or carefree spontaneity (like in New Years Eve, Love Actually or Valentines Day) but it is about real life and responsibility, which in the long run, spells true happiness and bliss after all the sugar-coatedness wears off.
So what can you expect from this movie? A bit of everything…..Just like child-bearing!!!
What To Expect When You’re Expecting open in cinemas on 31 May 2012 Australia