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|Index||83 reviews in total|
Contrarily to this adapted verbose title, one shouldn't 'expect' much
that is, unless literary desecration is in your hand of cards--if that
is the game you're looking to play, then consider this mess a winner.
Inspired by Heidi Murkoff's multimillion-selling-self-help-book for expectant mothers--holding the same name--'What to Expect', the film, will be much less prolific. Obviously a lot more work, and money, towards getting an ensemble cast--as opposed to garnering producers with emphasis on purpose and ingenuity--the filmmakers, here, create a product that is not the least bit unique it's a generic label laden with followed genre-specific clichés, bawdy humor, and disjointed direction.
Despite its few laughs, known cast, and affecting hints towards pregnancy, 'What to Expect' is an over-packed piece of "luggage" that becomes too frustrating to haul around. An immersion too tediously futile and not nearly enough funny. Expect worse...
Honestly, the reason for seeing this movie was nothing more and nothing less than the desire to go to the cinema with a friend. With some other movies not interesting her, it was between The Lucky Ones and this one, both movies that have a low score on IMDb. I was pleasantly surprised, however, with not just the actors in the movie but also with the dialogue and chemistry on screen, which seemed very natural. I definitely enjoyed watching it and will most likely end up buying it on DVD; not even the fact that Chris Rock was in it bothered me, whereas I usually can't stand him. I have to applaud Jennifer Lopez too, I never thought much of her as an actress, but I found myself sympathizing with her and liking her portrayal of the character. Over all, I find that this movie deserves a higher score than it's currently got on IMDb.
I saw the trailer for What To Expect When You're Expecting and I
thought it looked funny, and more than 1 of the cast members happen to
be favorites of mine, but pretty much 20 minutes in, I knew I was going
to hate this movie. Out of all of the mega cast movies of late, this is
indeed the weakest of all of them. This movie is meant to be a comedy,
but I didn't laugh once or even come remotely close to laughing, the
cast, some if which are rather talented never get a chance to prove
themselves as every scene is so ridiculously short, and the script,
talk about a cheese overload, and this is written by Shauna Cross, who
wrote a terrifically funny script for Whip It, it's a shame none of the
heart, wit and humor that was in that could transfer to this film.
The one saving grace this film has is the always wonderful Anna Kendrick, her character is the only one worth mentioning, and one particular scene of hers nearly brought me to tears, she's honestly the only person to stand out in this movie, in fact the storyline between Anna and Chace Crawford would probably make a good film on it's own, without having to compete for screen time with 4 other plot lines, I'm sure Anna's next movie will leave this as a distant memory.
Honestly I just can't even explain how silly this movie is, it's best to just see it and surely you will see for yourself. Just wait for the DVD, giving birth is probably less painful than watching this. Mega thumbs down.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's "New Year's Eve" in the neo-natal unit; "Valentine's Day" with a
uterus; "Knocked Up" times five. Unfortunately, that's about the best I
can write about this film featuring the ups and downs of having a baby.
In an attempt to jump on the multi-story, large cast bandwagon, director Kirk Jones (the charming "Waking Ted Devine," the horrid "Nanny McPhee") - with the assistance of writers Shauna Cross and Heather Hach ("Freaky Friday") - give us a few sparkling comedic moments, only to ruin it all with depressing dramatic letdowns and cinema's most predictable conclusion.
Then again, some of the heavier scenes are actually more (unintentionally) hilarious than the lighter ones. And while there is nothing unusual about comedies with dramatic overtones, this movie is all over the map, going from pure joy in some sequences to outright horror and heartbreaking grief in the next one.
Like "Hamlet," the movie suffers from an inability to make up its mind.
With a cast featuring Elizabeth Banks ("The 40-Year Old Virgin," "Man On a Ledge"), Cameron Diaz ("Something About Mary," "Killers"), Dennis Quaid ("Cheaper By the Dozen," "The Express"), Jennifer Lopez ("The Back-Up Plan"), Chris Rock ("Death At a Funeral"), Ben Falcone ("Bridesmaids"), Brooklyn Decker ("Just Go With It"), Wendi McLendon-Covey ("Bridesmaids," "Reno: 911" TV series), Rebel Wilson ("Ghost Rider," "Bridesmaids"), Anna Kendrick ("50/50," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"), Rob Huebel ("I Love You, Man") and Thomas Lennon ("Hot Tub Time Machine"), among others, one figures the humor quotient would rate high in this endeavor.
One would mostly be wrong, however.
Plot has five Atlanta couples: Evan (Matthew Morrison, "Glee" TV series) and Jules (Diaz); Alex (Rodrigo Santoro, "Post Grad") and Holly (Lopez); Ramsey (Quaid) and Skyler (Decker); Gary (Falcone) and Wendy (Banks); and Marco (Chace Crawford, "Gossip Girls" TV series) and Rosie (Kendrick), all of whom are in various stages of pregnancy and/or child expectations.
Evan and Jules have hooked up while involved on the show, "Celebrity Dance Factor," (she throws up on live television after the final episode), and now constantly bicker about whether or not to circumcise the baby boy-to-be.
Gary, who was on a fat-loss TV show, and children's author Wendy are now expecting after years of trying; but also discover that Gary's neglectful, NASCAR driver father, Ramsey, and his young wife are going to have twins. The sad-sack, wimpy, whining son is one-upped by the old man - again.
Ad man Alex and professional photographer Holly are looking to adopt an Ethiopian newborn; while Marco and Rosie - who work in competitive food trucks - have a one-night stand. Somehow, all of these characters end up connected with each other, no matter how far-fetched these situations become.
And for couples having their first children, there is little chemistry or real love exhibited herewithin. The emotional depth is as shallow as a saucer and just as inconsequential.
Most of the yuks here are from Wendy, who wanted "the glow" of pregnancy, but discovers the aches, pains and uncontrollable bodily functions are paramount (her "mother-in-law," however, seems to have no trouble, at all).
A few more - rather uncomfortable - laughs are solicited from Janice (Wilson), Wendy's idiot assistant (who honestly gets more snickers due to her weight than her jokes, sad to say).
The movie's worst crime, though, is Alex's association with a group of depressing new dads, including Rock, Huebel and Lennon, who meet at a park each day and spout unwanted and unnecessary advice to him about being a father.
Few of these scenes are funny - and a running gag of one of the men's children tripping, falling and being hit in the head with full beer cans - is simply dreadful.
A herky-jerky film which lacks a fluid, coherent story, as well as any semblance of pacing, aborts what could have been a much better movie and will certainly give many viewers sympathy and - most likely - labor pains for its 110-minute running time.
This film is about several couples who are expecting babies. They run
into various troubles and emotional rollercoasters while preparing
themselves for parenthood.
"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is a lighthearted comedy that makes you laugh, just like what is advertised. Of course, the way to parenthood is not just happy and joyful, so the film also realistically portrays the unglamorous side of expecting mothers. Some of these are presented as crude toilet humour, while others are presented as emotional rollercoasters that will touch your heart. I like the fact that characters in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" do not have a smooth breezy path, but face adversity like in real life. It is an interesting comedy for expecting mothers.
What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)
Director: Kirk Jones. Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock.
Don't ask me what possessed me to go and watch this film. In my defence I can tell you that I had seen everything else at my local multiplex and I had 2 hours to spare. Also the cast seemed impressive enough... and, to top it all up, my wife is pregnant, so I thought at least I would fit its target audience just perfectly.
To be completely honest I was expecting (sorry about the pun) something a lot worse: this is one of those average ensemble comedies where, as always some of the stories and some of the characters are more successful than others but in the end they are so many of them that if you are a parent or preparing to be one, you're bound to find a something to like... Other than that, this is all pure middle-class Hollywood, pretty slick, light-hearted but with enough sweet-and-sour moments to make it feel like it's actually about something. Obviously at the end of the day it's all rather forgettable, and it's actually a great shame, because the acting talent a shown here is impressive (surprisingly even Jennifer Lopez showcases a nuanced performance unlike much we'd seen before) both directing and editing are potentially quite skilled at doing what they do and the few good moments here and there give you a little glimpse of what it could have been.
The main problem is that the film is just not funny enough to be able to be a crowd pleaser and looses itself among the too many subplots, some of which are way off the main subject, to be able to become a classic (the golf cart chase sequence is one of the lowest and unfunny points and the father group sequences, despite Chris Rock, are just too indulgent, over the top and long). However having said all this, I must confess, even though I laughed very little, I found myself moved a couple of times: oh dear, it really must be the hormones (I think they call it sympathetic pregnancy).
Well... don't expect much. The plot is thin, predictable and the movie is simply not funny. My girlfriend roped me in -- so I went. The cast was likable... but everything else about the movie I couldn't bear. That said, this is a sure fire girl film that your lady love... especially if she has baby on her mind. The cast is very easy on the eyes.. especially the gorgeous Brooklyn Decker who is certainly bound to a be a big star. Jennifer Lopez was not very good or funny. My favorite characters in the film were Chris Rock and Anna Kendrick who are always funny and spot on in their roles. Great date film... but GUYS, beware -- you are in for a tedious night.
Director Kirk Jones (liked his other movie too, Everybody's fine) did a good job again directing a simple and well known concept pertaining to the process of pregnancy and child birth : takes a man and a woman to bring a baby into this world. This movie is mainly about how every woman and man go through the tribulations of this aspect of life's journey differently. Cameron Diaz as Jules , fitness guru ( a la Jillian Michaels of Biggest loser) is in great shape and is happy to be impregnated by Evan (matthew Morrison). Elizabeth banks,Wendy, encourages people to breastfeed babies and goes through a very tough pregnancy and has full support from her husband Gary ( Ben Falcone from Bridesmaids and TV shows: Yes, dear and Curb your enthusiasm). Brooklyn Decker as the young wife of Dennis Quaid( father of Gary) is very naturally young and has a very easy twin pregnancy. Anna Kendrick(Rosie) loses her baby , pregnant after just one night stand with Marco (Chace Crawford). Rosie and Marco are sad after losing baby. Rosie has a very positive attitude and has confidence that because she is young she will definitely have many more chances at pregnancy. On the other hand, Jennifer Lopez as Holly is ready for adopting Ethiopian baby after going through several attempts at making babies in different ways. She feels miserable after losing contract as a photographer and feels like a loser. All the actors did well. I enjoyed watching Elizabeth banks and Brooklyn Decker(Just go with it) the most. I like Kendrick and she does well in any role (Up in the air, 50/50). Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez did well. Among the male actors ,Ben Falcone was convincing as a very supportive husband of Banks. I felt the slap when Banks slapped Falcone demanding pain medications during labor.... Pregnancies are tough. No wonder Mother's day and father's day are special....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Take films such as New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day, but remove any
continuity and romance, replacing it with an attempt at suburban farce
in a scene of mass parenthood and that describes What to Expect...the
only thing is I wasn't expecting such bad big budget, big cast film.
Yet, I should have known after seeing a turkey like New Year's Eve.
The worst part of this film was something that liberal Hollywood loves, from TV adverts to movies, the denigration of the American man.
Talk about role reversal...according to this mess. all women do is have kids...its the men that raise them, in tight knit groups...virtually every guy in this group is totally henpecked and submissive to their wives.
The only decent romantic story line was that of a young woman who has a miscarriage and misses out of the man she has longed to love...yet, her story is relegated to mere brief sound-bites as the film jumps around from couple to couple and always winding up back with the inadequate group of chaotic husbands....a waste of time.
I was expecting to come away with a sassy name for this new genre, the
Hollywood-ensemble rom-com, but there was nothing clever to provide any
inspiration in "What to Expect When You're Expecting". The best line
that I have heard to describe this comes from a fellow IMDb user,
gregeichelberger, "It's "New Year's Eve" in the neo-natal unit;
"Valentine's Day" with a uterus; "Knocked Up" times five." That sums up
the whole thing perfectly.
The Hollywood ensemble is this frustrating trend to load the movie with as many stars as possible, so you have only floating heads and no actual characters. Surprisingly, one of the worst offenders is the similarly-themed indie dramedy "Conception" (2010) where we get to follow 9 (yes, 9!) different couples. This movie isn't as bad, there are only 5 main couples.
The intertwining of them is very limited. The four other girls basically all watch Jules (Cameron Diaz) on her reality TV shows. The timing, on the other hand, is all in sync. They get pregnant at the same time, start showing at the same time, and give birth at the same time. The point is of course that you don't know what to expect since each girl's pregnancy is different and experiences it differently.
Jules is going to control it whether her partner tags along or not; Holly (Jennifer Lopez) is going to lie her way through adoption if that's what it takes; Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) wants the joy but gets the worst; Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) is going to make it perfect, just like herself; Rosie (Anna Kendrick) doesn't know what she's going to do. If the movie had left it at that, it would have been cute, romantic, funny and heartfelt, and possibly empowering.
But then they introduced "the dude pack" which is even worse than it sounds. They are a group of fathers, led by Chris Rock, who are given the stupidest sounding lines to try and make funny. It was painful how unfunny it was. Imagine if you will, a Hollywood writer being paid to come up with never-before-said lines to turn into popular catch-phrases. The way "Horrible Bosses" was almost successful (but ultimately not) with Sudeikis' "I would like to bend her over a barrel and show her the fifty states". That was exactly the case with the "comedy" in this movie. All of their lines were met with a few unimpressed question marks on faces but never any laughs.
However, the mothers-to-be were pretty good. Some were on the boring side, but two were able to deliver enough humour and heart to almost make up for the entirety of "What to Expect When You're Expecting". I don't know what it is about Anna Kendrick but she makes my heart melt every time she's on the screen. Extremely cute, in a relatable kind of way, and able to hold our hearts, she was the one that got us through this movie. Elizabeth Banks was able to go as over-the-top as only pregnant movie heroines are allowed to and gave it her all to deliver the comedy of what not to expect. Of course, it wasn't quite enough because we do know exactly what to expect.
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