The Sons of Katie Elder

The Sons of Katie Elder
"First, we reunite, then find Ma and Pa's killer...then read some reviews."

Friday, October 18, 2013

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Brace yourself, it's not just a change of pace review. It's a BIG change of pace review. No, not just a romantic comedy....a romantic comedy about pregnancy. Oh, the horrors!!! Enter stage right 2012's What to Expect When You're Expecting.

From different backgrounds, jobs, marital/relationship statuses, five different women are all about to find out they're pregnant. How will they and their significant other handle the pregnancy and all its fun? Jules (Cameron Diaz) is a host and trainer on a weight loss reality show when she finds out that her boyfriend of three months are pregnant. Holly (Jennifer Lopez) is a freelance photographer who can't have a child, but with her husband is looking into overseas adoption. Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) owns a store aimed at young moms and after years of trying with her husband has finally gotten pregnant. Rosie (Anna Kendrick) owns a food truck and is stunned to find out she's pregnant after a one-night stand with someone from her past. Let the pregnancy hijinks begin.

Yes, this was a movie pick of the girlfriend, not one I picked on my own. Go figure, I didn't love it, but I liked it considerably more than I thought I would. From director Kirk Jones and based on a series of pregnancy help books, 'Expect' earned a decent $26 million in the U.S. and $83 million worldwide. The reviews are almost uniformly negative -- 5.5 at IMDB at time of review, 23% at Rotten Tomatoes -- and maybe it's easy to see why. It covers a whole lot of ground in 110 minutes with ideas of what characters are more than actually delving into said characters. I don't know, maybe I'm catching myself on a frustrated, negative swing as I read reviews, but what do you expect from a flick like this? It clearly wasn't made to rewrite FILM itself. It's supposed to be fun, emotional and dramatic, all rolled up into one. I liked it so deal with it, Internet.

The recent trend in comedies is seemingly to get every single actor/actress currently working in Hollywood who's available at the time of filming and make a movie. We're talking He's Just Not That Into You, any Tyler Perry movie, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve and probably many more I haven't seen and am forgiving. There's a lot of talent assembled here so regardless of the thin characters, it's cool to see. Let's get going because I'm wasting my nonexistent word count. Diaz's Jules is dating Matthew Morrison's Evan, a dancer on a Dancing With the Stars knockoff, the duo having met while dancing together on the show. Lopez's Holly is married to Rodrigo Santoro's Alex who's understandably a little freaked out about adopting an African baby. Ben Falcone is a scene-stealer as Gary, Banks' Wendy's husband, supportive as he can be while dealing with his own struggles. As Rosie's baby daddy, Chace Crawford plays Marco, a rival food truck owner.

There's plenty going on at basically all times but two key additions (in terms of subplots at least) end up bringing the entire movie up a notch. Dennis Quaid plays Gary's Dad, a former race car driver who's remarried a much younger woman, Skyler (Brooklyn Decker), and is similarly pregnant. The dual pregnancies becomes a bit of a rivalry between father and son, Wendy's proving rather difficult, Skyler's the definition of ease. The other has Santoro's Alex introduced to a Dad walking club in hopes of getting him used to the thought of being a father, the group including Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, Rob Huebel, and Amir Talai with Joe Manganiello as their single friend they all envy. Rebel Wilson is funny as Wendy's assistant and co-worker without a filter, Wendi McLendon-Covey as Lennon's husband and Holly's boss.    

With an almost schizophrenic, episodic story, things never slow down. The story bounces pretty seamlessly from woman to woman, ranging from montages at ultrasounds to all of them going into labor the same exact night and going to the same exact hotel. Crazy, huh?!? What are the chances?!? Maybe it is because the story is so quick, but there's no time to look for plot holes or analyze too much as to any faults or issues. There are some really dark moments -- one pregnancy ends in miscarriage -- and the finale has a twist or two (sort of, not really ;)). Harmless, entertaining story that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Besides, even if it was really bad, you could just sit back and watch all the talent. Either way, it's a win.

What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012): ***/****


  1. "The Girlfriend" doesn't have the best track recording picking movies. It could have been worse.

  2. Meh, probably about 50% or so. She's a good baker though.