What to Expect When You’re Expecting, inspired by the best-selling pregnancy manual, follows five vaguely intertwining couples in varying states of becoming parents. A reality TV fitness guru (Cameron Diaz) and her ‘Celebrity Dance Factor’ partner (Glee star Matthew Morrison) learn the value of compromise through pregnancy, a freelance photographer (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband, who selects songs for commercials for a living, struggle through the financial strain and emotional stress of the adoption process, two food truck chefs (Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford and Up in the Air breakout star Anna Kendrick) deal with a young couple’s unexpected turns in life, and a pregnancy expert (Elizabeth Banks) understands first-hand that “the glow” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, while her retired Nascar legend father-in-law (Dennis Quaid) and his trophy wife (Brooklyn Decker) breeze through the childbearing process with ease.
Sound complicated? It’s anything but… the story is as boiler-plate Hollywood “rom-com” as they come, and the star-studded cast will be dizzying to some (though not nearly as hard to swallow as the Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve flicks).
Ultimately though, What To Expect has enough earnest heart and serviceable laughs to be worthwhile for its audience. The question is– will anyone outside the target demographic enjoy this movie? My girlfriend and I weigh in on What To Expect When You’re Expecting:
She: It’s not a first-date movie, that’s for sure.
He: Definitely not. You and I are a steady couple and I was anxious throughout several scenes in that movie. I thought, “This is what I’m in for??”
She: That’s the point, though. I thought they did a great job showing the man’s fear and hesitation in all of the story lines without sacrificing the humor.
He: Sure, there were several laughs that came out of it. I must say, Dennis Quaid was great in this movie. I wanted his life. And Brooklyn Decker…
She: Watch it…
He: Chris Rock, Rob Huebel, & Thomas Lennon were hilarious as the “father support group” as well. I’m glad they gave them as much screen time as possible, considering they weren’t essential to the plot.
She: I could have done without the young couple’s story though.
He: Really?! That was the couple I most enjoyed! I thought it provided the most emotional weight in the entire movie.
She: They tried too hard to include all the circumstances of “expecting”; they could have easily cut one of the story lines and made the movie about a half-hour shorter without sacrificing anything.
He: I totally agree. Though I understand they needed an “adoption” story line, I didn’t like Jennifer Lopez’s thread through this movie.
She: I loved her. Cameron Diaz was really good too, but I think that they didn’t give Matthew Morrison much to do in that movie. It revolved too much around her.
He: Well it’s obviously a movie written for women, by women. The dialogue for the male characters sounded like what women tell their friends their husbands say.
She: Well what were you expecting??
He: Good point; I didn’t expect anything less. Was it a chick flick? Yes. As a guy, was it watchable? Yes. I won’t be putting it on any must-see lists, but I enjoyed it for what it was…
She: A light-hearted movie that makes you laugh, tear up a bit, and feel good as you walk out of the theater. I would recommend it.
HIS SCORE: 6/10
HER SCORE 8/10
What To Expect When You’re Expecting opens today in Philly-area theaters.