What to Expect When You Are Expecting, Cameron Diaz


<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Kirk Jones. Starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Rodrigo Santoro, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Ben Falcone, Chase Crawford.

This movie based on a book about pregnancy tries to emulate the formulas used in films like New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day and Love Actually. Not only is it a badly made film, it also seems to be propagating the whole premise that married/pregnant women will immediately make their husbands spineless and henpecked. Which though true, doesn’t really provide much entertainment for half of the audience.

Typically American, write-a-book-on-anything-and-everything mentality. Because what on earth would they do without those books telling them what to do. Even the things that should come naturally. Clearly Hollywood is running out of ideas if it’s resorting to books on pregnancy for inspiration.

The various big stars and small actors in this film pair up as married couples, newly married couples and singles that get pregnant by accident. Actors Anna Kendrick and Chase Crawford are the latter ‘couple’. One time in the sack, she gets preggers and expects him to marry her ‘nicely’. After some initial (understandable) trepidation he does agree and is super nice to her. She loses the baby due to a miscarriage and then she’s like “Congratulations, you’re off the hook.” So he’s to blame for what…? And so miscarriage is something to expect when you’re expecting, how lovely.

Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro are the couple that can’t get pregnant so she wants to adopt. He’s really apprehensive considering their financial situation but she gets him to join a ‘dude’ gang of fathers who take Saturday strolls in the park with their babies and vent about their wives, their kids and their lives. Their supposed to put him at ease…

Cameron Diaz is a big TV personality and takes part on a Dancing With The Stars-type contest where she has a fling with her dance partner played by Glee’s Matthew Morrison. Of course he willingly agrees to be there for her but she plans on taking all the decisions including the one not to circumcise their son.

There are too many couples to get into so let me just say that what this movie does is simply make the women the big bosses over their men letting them vent, control and manipulate the boys who seem like meaningless appendages there merely to support their women and carry their babies. There’s a scene at the end that lasts 15 minutes and is just about all the mother’s converging on one hospital and having their babies simultaneously. By the end of that I wanted an epidural to put me out of my pain.

And then get this, Elizabeth Banks’s character has her baby but gets into complications on the operating table and her hubby Ben Falcone is shaken. She gets out of it fine and as he tells her how worried and stressed he was, she says “No, it was beautiful.” And he’s like “Yes, it was beautiful.” Umm, so his feelings don’t matter tiddly squat!!

The only thing I liked about this film was when Elizabeth Banks’s character addresses a baby conference and tells them how pregnancy isn’t all about the ‘glow’ and that it ‘really sucks’. Also, the only couple that is of any interest is Dennis Quaid and his very young new wife Brooklyn ‘Boobs’ Decker.

I have to say that the women in the audience had a laugh but that’s probably because they could relate. I’d advise them not to take along their male partners and I’d advise guys to stay away from this one like the plague if they ever want to think about getting married or having kids.

And what the hell was with Jennifer Lopez dressing like a diva throughout the film (on a struggling photographer’s salary) and wearing what looked like an evening gown when she was going to pick up her adopted son in Ethiopia!


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