Over the past few years, we’ve seen director Gary Marshall become the king of the star-studded interwoven comedy - and by that I mean he’s made two mediocre movies with a lot of celebrities in them. This genre was kickstarted in 2009 by the self-help book phenomenon turned feature film ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’. Now here comes another - first published in 1984, ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ is a worldwide best seller and was named one of the 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. Well, that influence has now been put into the hands of Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick to show you the way in the new comedy by ‘Nanny McPhee’ director Kirk Jones.
If you’re familiar with the above mentioned celebrity-riddled tales, then it will come as no surprise that ‘What To Expect...’ is no exception. Too many actors, too much to say, not enough time to say it. While the film hits all the key points - too young, too old, trying for too long, adoption, miscarriage, ‘Opps, we’re pregnant’ and everything in between - it all lacks sincerity and depth, and unfortunately the blame isn’t simply in the hands of the film’s time constraints but its lacklustre script.
For a movie about pregnancy, this one oddly belongs to the men.
For a movie about pregnancy, this one oddly belongs to the men. Husbands/fathers-to-be and a group aptly named “The Dudes” rule the gags in this comedy - the only female exception going to Elizabeth Banks, the “expert” on her first pregnancy suffering all an up-the-duff woman can suffer, including competitiveness, embarrassing gas, a severe lack of “pregnancy glow” and one very public breakdown that becomes a YouTube sensation.
There are some giggles to be had, I’m sure mostly for the "been there, done that" crowd. But for those who are really expecting, this is one test you won’t pass by skipping the book and simply watching the movie instead.