Film Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I went into this expecting (ah ha!) something like a watered down version of New Year’s Eve. You know, how New Year’s Eve is the watered down version of Valentine’s Day, which is the watered down version of Love, Actually. So, you know, something pretty awful. A lame idea flooded with name actors.
What I got, thankfully, wasn’t New Year’s Eve’s illegitimate devil spawn (Martin Luther King Day will have to be made to get that honour).
TL;DR This is an obviously (and I think knowingly) middle-of-the-road chick flick. Plot lines are uninspired, casting is sometimes off, but it’s mostly enjoyable fluff. 3 out of 5 stars.
Really, I’m just glad it wasn’t New Year’s Eve. Have I bashed that enough yet? We’ll see.
So, shockingly, this is a movie about pregnancy. Which means a bunch of late 30-something actresses pretend to be early 30-something women with buns in the oven. This works sometimes, but not others.
I have to give demerit points to Cameron Diaz here. After Bad Teacher, I’m getting a little sick of ol’ pillow face trying to pretend she is the peak of sexiness for womankind. We’ve had enough of the ego trip.
Brooklyn Decker puts in another boring performance as “featured hot blonde.” I guess casting agents don’t even bother placing ads for “any blonde actress” anymore and just call Brooklyn up first.
Elizabeth Banks reminds us why she won’t be missed in 30 Rock. Has nobody realised yet that when she yells she sounds completely false? Hell, 30 Rock even used her in a gag (during a story line where she was pregnant) making fun of her character’s fake-sounding contractions. It’s not the character, it’s the actress. She’s otherwise completely charming, but somebody should place a decibel limit on her.
The story between Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford’s characters was a bit wasted. Kendrick was probably the best thing about this movie, but her character is such a selfish bitch post mis-carriage (which is understandable, but still) and Crawford’s is such a little pussy, that I didn’t care they got together in the end.
What works here is the pacing.
Whereas New Year’s Eve (I’m not done yet) crawled along like a Miami zombie attack victim, nothing here outstays its welcome. Clever editing gets every scene right to the point. I never felt like I was wasting time, and even plot lines I didn’t care about (J-Lo, for sure) were off screen fast enough to prevent any rage quitting.
But seriously J-Lo, you suck. Go back to being Paula Abdul’s replacement. That’s insulting enough for you to stop embarrassing yourself in acting roles.
Why I hate this movie:
Some boring performances spoil what is an otherwise pleasant escape.
Brooklyn Decker isn’t an actress. Who is giving her roles? There are a billion other untalented blondes out there. Give them a shot.
Stop screaming, Elizabeth Banks.
There’s a scene where J-Lo’s boyfriend meets a group of fathers who are taking their kids to the park. They do a power walk which isn’t funny. It was the only gag that I really hated, and it was pretty long for something that never worked. It was cringe-worthy.
Reasons to watch:
This is light entertainment, and the thing I’m most impressed by was how they kept it light.
I was totally convinced that by the end at least one of them would have some rousing speech about how difficult being a mother is and how it’s the most important job on earth and it’s a miracle and mothers are heroes etc wank etc. But it never happened. Banksy got close to it, but she was mostly just having a whinge about being uncomfortable while pregnant. Fine by me.
There’s a Dancing With The Stars parody which is hilarious (Whitney Port? Nice). The fact that Cheryl Cole (who got fired from The X Factor for being unintelligible due to her accent) is a judge on it was meta-licious. Pitch perfect. Loved it.
Nice to see Matthew Morrison in something that isn’t a fucking nightmare.
Anna Kendrick (sans her character’s poor attitude) was funny and proves she can still act well, even when slumming it in fodder like this. And who doesn’t love food truck wars?
Rebel Wilson does a fucking awful American accent, but gets some good lines as Banksy’s assistant.
I walked away from this with a smile on my face (thank god the wind didn’t change). It doesn’t show ensemble chick flicks (like New Year’s Eve. Okay, that’s the last time) how to do things right, but it does show them how to do things not fucking appallingly (like New Year’s Eve. I lied). Oddly it didn’t teach me anything about pregnancy that I didn’t already know from incontinence pad ads and Knocked Up. 3 out of 5 stars.