Some of us loved it (like me- well, once I stopped puking), some of us hated it, and some of us have completely blocked it out- yet we each have our own story to tell about our experience on our journey to motherhood. The movie adaptation of the world’s most popular pregnancy bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, is just that- 5 stories about 5 families each, with very different journeys into pregnancy and motherhood.
My first thought when I heard they were making a movie about a manual was- um, how are they going to do that? I wasn’t the only one, as when I had the opportunity to interview the men and women of the cast, Kirk Jones, the director said, ” I looked at the challenges, and thought this could be pretty tough, you know, making a movie about a pregnancy manual. But what I quickly realized was that what we all look for in movies, was encountered in pregnancy. The three pregnancies I experienced with my wife, were full of some of the funniest, scariest, most dramatic moments of my whole life. So I started to take the idea quiet seriously…but when you look at it dramatically and structurally, pregnancy makes us question our relationships, and our future and if we’re going to be good parents. It’s dramatically a really exciting subject.”
Having lived it myself, I wholeheartedly agree. Which is why I loved this movie. Each couple had their own paths and while some where a bit cliche, they movie still enveloped the realness of pregnancy.
Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules (Cameron Diaz) and dance show star Evan (Matthew Morrison) find that their high-octane celebrity lives don’t stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) gets a taste of her own militant mommy advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body; while Wendy’s husband, Gary (Ben Falcone), struggles not to be outdone by his competitive alpha-Dad (Dennis Quaid), who’s expecting twins with his much younger trophy wife, Skyler (Brooklyn Decker). Photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez) is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) isn’t so sure, and tries to quiet his panic by attending a “dudes” support group, where new fathers get to tell it like it really is. And rival food truck chefs Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco’s (Chase Crawford) surprise hook-up results in an unexpected quandary: what to do when your first child comes before your first date?
As couples, I have to say the pairings were great. Although, the chemistry with Wendy and Gary was a little questionable, the rest of the cast meshed well and were believeable as couples. As I was watching I would laugh out loud cause I remembered bits and pieces of each story in my own pregnancy. I probably related most to Elizabeth Banks in her surprises of the not-so-great moments of pregnancy, but felt like Brooklyn Decker and had JLo’s great want and outlook for a family.
I enjoyed this movie a lot- but, I don’t think it will appeal to someone who doesn’t have kids. Not even a little bit. It’s very much one of those you-kinda-had-to-be-there movies. A lot of the jokes will pass you by because you just don’t know what it feels like. So parents, if you want a few reminiscent laughs- go see this. Single people and new couples? Um, well- it may be good birth control.
I attended a media screening as a member of media. All opinions are my own.