Sometimes filmmakers and screenwriters try to tell people how to think and feel about life-defining situations. Not every couple is happy and in love. Not all parents gush at the site of their children vomiting and crapping in diapers. For those with an intimate understanding of parenthood and relationships based on engendering children, What to Expect When You're Expecting will be simply amazing. It might well mirror their own experiences and provide some much needed levity and bonding time, social messaging notwithstanding.
Five couples are featured in this picture. The first couple is Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro). Holly is interested in adopting a baby and Alex is interested in Holly's happiness. It is a win-win situation. Jennifer Lopez is a better singer than she is an actress. Couple number two is Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford). They were intimate in high school and now after a separation, in their early twenties, they rekindle the spark. For continuity's sake this leads to an unexpected pregnancy. They come together to please the crowd and then there are complications. Lucky number three consists of Jules (Cameron Diaz) and Evan (Matthew Morrison). Jules is a celebrity that has just vomited into her trophy earned by winning Celebrity Dance Off 15. What a clever spoof on Dancing with the Dinosaurs. Evan is even-tempered and supportive. Jules is afraid of losing her six pack and her youth. The fourth couple (Dennis Quaid as Ramsey and Brooklyn Decker as Skyler) is the classic tale of an older man inserting his fossil into a much younger woman. Fresh off a face lift who can really blame Ramsey for coveting a woman old enough to be his granddaughter? They are madly in love and sexually active. The first couple focused on is Gary (Melissa McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone) and Wendy (Elizabeth Banks. Wendy has just published a children's book about sundry farm animals suckling on their mothers' nipples. How adorable, but it's really just for the kids.
Here's a joke. Which came first What to Expect When You're Expecting or the cover of Time Magazine? The nipple...the nipple. There are additional characters such as Vic (Chris Rock) that are there to tell us jokes about being a father and to make light of the challenges of parenthood. Many of the characters make audiences grimace with racially charged humor that falls flatter than pancake. Cameron Diaz has worked her body into a work of art, she is in killer shape.
Ladies and gentlemen and parents of all ages, What to Expect When You're Expecting is not for everyone. As afore-alluded to, those audiences undergoing some form of parenthood will just love it. Women at the screening squawked and giggled in high-pitched laughing voices that reminded me of hyenas. Some of the actors put on great performances, Anna Kendrick among them. Others such as J-Lo were downright awful. The camera crew worked overtime not to show any part of her backside which was obvious and interesting. I expected more from Elizabeth Banks but what can she do when Judd Apatow is not there to let her let loose.
It is nice to have a movie that will give some people guidance a measure of comfort. For some, What to Expect When You're Expecting is just what the doctor ordered. For casual moviegoers this picture will cause them to walk away in droves. Basically, some will love it, some will feel indifferent, and others will just vacate the premises. Look for What to Expect When You're Expecting to open strong in competition with The Avengers and The Dictator this holiday weekend.
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