By Sandra Kraisirideja
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is the perfect movie for anyone who is currently pregnant or thinking of starting a family.
Similar to recent ensemble comedies like “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” the characters in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” are loosely connected and are all sharing a similar experience—in this case it’s pregnancy.
I’d been seeing the trailer for months and quite frankly was a bit sick of it. The funny scenes were no longer funny and I was worried that the humor would be juvenile and crass. In other words, I had somewhat low expectations for the movie and was glad when it proved to be better than what was shown in the trailer.
The great thing about ensemble comedies is that no one actor has to take on the burden of carrying the whole movie, which can lead to more relaxed performances and better acting. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is no exception and it seems all the actors were having a good time. Director Kirk Jones keeps the pace moving and has a light touch.
The movie has an exceptional cast, with Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Chris Rock and Dennis Quaid to name a few. Every role seems tailor made for the actor playing the character and there is a great mix of familiar faces and lesser-known comic actors. The common thread is nearly all of the actors are comfortable with comedy. Banks’ pairing with Ben Falcone (who audiences will remember as Air Marshall Jon from “Bridesmaids”) works brilliantly and the actors are in most of the movie’s funniest scenes.
The movie’s marketing has been focused on the “Dude’s Group” and the trailer is a bit misleading. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” has a lot more heart and tenderness then the trailer would suggest. Screenwriters Shauna Cross and Heather Hach did a fine job of creating a movie from a book that is largely used as reference material by first-time moms everywhere.
Between the five couples who make up the bulk of the storyline, the many different ways women experience pregnancy are explored. Most of the situations involve humor but there are emotional moments as well. This is good news for women who want something sweet but bad news for men who don’t like sitting through anything sappy.
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” opens nationwide May 18.