Multiple storylines collide in this mishmash film about the joys of pregnancy – as well as all the unexpected details that can derail what is supposed to be the happiest time in a couples’ life.
Kids, be careful what you joke about on Facebook – it will come back to haunt you. Such was my lesson when we were dueling it out over who would have the honor of reviewing The Avengers. I wrote on our wall that, “I will fight you like a spider monkey for What To Expect!” Guess what? I “won.” God as my witness, I quit sarcasm – starting tomorrow. However, I’ll need it in my arsenal for the rest of this post.
What can you expect from this film? An ensemble cast in the vein of the horrible New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day – with the addition of baby bumps and vagina jokes. Sounds like a winner – if you have a hankering for wanting to punch yourself in the face.
Don’t try this at home! [Photo Credit]
What does neophyte director Kirk Jones have on Cameron Diaz (as Jules, a fitness guru) and Elizabeth Banks (as Wendy, a children’s author and owner of the pregnancy boutique Breast Choice)? I can only assume blackmail was involved. I completely understand that Jennifer Lopez would be drawn to this mess, but the aforementioned actresses have real careers and box office draws. It’s especially mystifying that the standout Banks, who cannot bear children in real life and heartbreakingly described herself as “having a broken belly” (I’m also quitting tabloids – tomorrow), would want to take on the role of a woman who struggles for years to conceive. Yes, she is an actress and her job is all about transmuting real life experiences – but I have to imagine that the role of Wendy was as emotionally painful for her to play as it was for me to watch. What? Can’t I worry about a wealthy, successful blonde lady’s wellbeing? Ridiculously hot chicks are people too!
She might be feeling sad on the inside! Insert your own vagina joke here – the writers of this script wouldn’t hesitate. [Photo Credit]
Speaking of ridiculously hot women – Brooklyn Decker (as Skylar, a trophy wife who happens to be Wendy’s mother-in-law) nearly steals the show. Really, her storyline as the gorgeous partner of racecar driving legend Ramsey (a spot-on Dennis Quaid) was the best part of the movie. These two are hilarious as the easy-breezy couple that have it all and unintentionally flaunt it in front of Wendy and her husband Gary (Bridesmaids’ Ben Falcone). The fact that Ramsey insists on referring to twenty-something Skylar as Gary’s mom makes everyone uncomfortable, in the best way. You know, like how a comedy is supposed to be. I could watch a whole movie about the four of them and their ridiculous dynamic. It would be a thin plot, but no thinner than the one the movie tried (and failed) to present. At least it would have a focus – something the director forgot to include in this “vision.”
I’m hatching a little plan to hijack this mess.
What are mopey food cart chefs Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chase Crawford) doing in the middle of this movie? The premise is a rom-com, albeit a poorly executed one, yet their storyline is nonstop melodrama. Spoiler Alert: Rosie and Marco conceive their baby in the most unromantic way possible – by hooking up on the top of a car after an evening of competing over who can serve the most pork at their neighboring carts. Yes, you read that correctly. Needless to say, Marco is none too thrilled to learn that he’s going to be a dad after a one-night stand. Don’t get too worried about the impact on their burgeoning relationship – Rosie loses the baby long before she can carry it to term. Presenting what to expect… when you have a miscarriage. What a lighthearted romp! And, p.s., if the food cart phenomenon isn’t already over, this will certainly put a nail in its little indie coffin.
I think it’s time we consummate this relationship on the hood of a car. Whaddya say?
Dude’s Group – named after the dads that meet in the park every Saturday with their spawn – is a sexist bunch of assholes that compare women’s vaginas to minivans. I understand the whole existence of the group is to entice unsuspecting males into the theater; and that making fun of women is a way to bond, for some guys. That said; don’t mix your genres with a scattershot of what you think your audience may want. To disparage the female anatomy during a movie about pregnancy is the film version of shooting yourself in the foot. Chris Rock (as Vic – who can only seem to scream his dialogue) even says he never called “it” a vagina until he saw a baby come out of “there”– which lead me to ask myself, “What in the hell was he calling it before?” Please, spare me your emails – I know all the slang. It’s just disconcerting to be told, while in a movie aimed at women, that when the vagina is used for its sacred utilitarian purposes, it’s immediately considered outdated, boring and embarrassing. Umm, thanks. Here’s a big cup of go-fuck-yourself.
It’s a goddamn mess from beginning to end. I saw four people walk out of the theater and I dearly wish I’d been able to be one of them. Meanwhile I logged no less than seven pages of back-to-back notes of indignities during the screening. There’s so much wrong with this film that it should technically be rated at a suitcase, or keg, level of beer – and I haven’t even touched on half of it. But honestly, I don’t want to waste anymore of my time. My minivan and I have somewhere else to be.
If you want to scare the shit out of a pregnant woman – or just disgust someone you despise – take them to this flick. Otherwise give it a wide berth. (Wah, wah. See what I did there? It’s funnier than the film!)
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time the film tries to impart an eye-rolling life lesson.
Take a Drink: every time you hear the words vagina or vag.
Take a Drink: every time Anna Kendrick’s character closes the back door of her food cart, only to find Chase Crawford’s character waiting for her.
Do a Shot: during the “shocking” culmination when all the characters’ storylines collide.
Not that you’ll care, but you can run screaming anytime – there are no extras.