What to Expect When You’re Expecting
(M) Roadshow DVD/BD & Digital Download
You may think a film based on a non-fiction book about childbirth is a sad indictment on Hollywood having run out of original ideas. To the contrary, this is an engaging film about the fact that every birth story is different.
An ensemble film, where multiple stories intersect in some small way, What to Expect has a sly wit and an engaging cast. And there are a lot of knowing laughs.
Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Gary (Ben Falcone) are finally expecting after years of trying. Baby photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are adopting.
Rosie (Anna Kenrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford) are pregnant unexpectedly. LA fitness guru Jules (Cameron Diaz) and reality TV dance partner Evan (Matthew Morrison) are also pregnant.
The funniest scenes in the film involve a group called the Dude Group, a quartet of Baby Bjorn-wearing Dads who set about giving soon-to-be Dad Alex tips about parenting.
Their mantra, “There is no judgment here”, as they matter-of-factly deliver astute observations about child rearing Dad-style, is hilarious.
Elizabeth Bank’s Wendy, who is struggling with her lack of “glow” in pregnancy, is the stand-out, with some truly laugh-out-loud moments that are funny because they wincingly hit the mark.
There is broad comedy here, and some avoidance of some of the trickier issues, but this film delivers some astute observations about pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.