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On Tuesday evening as I was driving with my best friend to the advanced screening of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and we were talking about our children. We both have two children, a son and a daughter but while hers are 6 and 15 mine are 1.5 and 3.5 years old. We were discussing how no one tells you the whole truth about pregnancy and no matter what you hear you can’t really be prepared until you experience it yourself. And no one ever tells you how hard it is to keep your children alive!
You’ve seen the movie trailer where the men in the “dudes group” talk about some of their mishaps with their children: one of the kids ate a cigarette, one child fell off the changing table and another was playing in the dryer. If I wasn’t a parent I might be horrified and think these guys are so irresponsible but two small children later, I totally understand that in the few seconds you aren’t looking the kids can find a LOT of trouble. At least in the “dudes group” there’s no judging.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is the story of five couples that are all on the verge of parenthood. There’s the reality star Jules (Cameron Diaz), expecting her first child with her dance partner Evan (Matthew Morrison) who refuses to let the demands of pregnancy interfere with her career. Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) store owner and author that believes pregnancy is a wonderful glowing experience full of rewards until she becomes pregnant herself. I could totally relate to Wendy’s character, while I wanted to be the happy glowing pregnant lady, I was the grumpy, large hormonal lady with back acne, heartburn and every other unpleasant symptom you can imagine.
Wendy’s husband Gary (Ben Falcone) has a tenuous relationship with his father (Dennis Quaid) due to a number of factors and it gets even rougher when he learns his stepmother, the trophy wife, Skyler (Brooklyn Decker), is also expecting and she’s having twins! Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are unable to conceive and have started the adoption process but Alex is nervous about becoming a parent. Then there’s Rosie (Ana Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford) the young rival food truck chefs that have a few drinks and hook up which results in an unexpected pregnancy.
Of course pregnant women can commiserate together about their symptoms, side effects and joys but where do the dads go? The dudes group of course, led by Vic (Chris Rock). First rule of the Dudes Group, “Don’t talk about what they walk about.”
My Overall Impression: What to Expect When You’re Expecting has an all star cast and some funny lines but it also has cliche’s and stereotypes. I thought the film was going to be side splitting funny like Bridesmaids so I didn’t expect some of the dramatic moments. The best performances were delivered by Elizabeth Banks, maybe because I could totally relate, and Brooklyn Decker.
I realize the writers and Director Kirk Jones chose to tell the story from multiple couples in order to show how pregnancy and parenting is different for every couple but I think I would have enjoyed it more if there were fewer couples to focus on. As it is I felt like they were trying to cram in every possible scenario from puking at inopportune times to the second chance older father with the beautiful younger wife that has an effortless pregnancy aka the “magical pregnancy unicorn”, etc.
For the record my friend thought it was one of the funniest movies she’d seen in quite a while and really loved it! So, you be the judge What to Expect When You’re Expecting opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 18.