By Keyla Lopez
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” offers its audience a handful of laughs and conflicts about pregnancy.
The movie is based off the bestselling parenthood manual of the same name, but that’s about all that compares between the two.
With its clichéd situations, the all-star cast provides, while being a little unrealistic and over the top, a comical look into pregnancy, parenthood and the emotional difference between men and women when they go through such an experience, while seemingly touching on every outcome and aspect of pregnancy.
The film takes a cue from movies like “Love Actually”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” where a handful of couples and characters who live parallel lives are experiencing the same thing or preparing for a certain holiday either at different stages, or from different angles and the specific theme or idea puts everything together in the end.
While the book has no real plot, the movie adaptation centers around five Atlanta couples that are expecting a baby, and as each of them prepares for all the responsibilities that come with parenthood.
Each of the couples represents and portrays a different type of pre-parenthood situation as they come to find out that having a baby is nothing like what they have ever imagined or expected, providing the audience with various story arcs.
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” doesn’t hold back from touching on the sensitive subjects pregnancy and parenthood.
It showcases the many journeys that women and men involved experience and isn’t afraid to even explore the more challenging and heartbreaking experiences.
The viewers are introduced to Jules, played by Cameron Diaz, who gained popularity through her fitness show, overjoyed at the news she’s going to have a baby with Evan, played by Glee’s Matthew Morrison, a dancer on a show equivalent to “Dancing With the Stars.”
As her due date approaches, Jules and Evan struggle to balance the very deffirent demands of both parenthood and celebrity.
Jennifer Lopez, who delivers some well acted scenes is Holly, a professional photographer so focused on having a child, teams up with Rodrigo Santoro as Alex play the other half of infertile couple who plans for an adoption. Alex is still reluctant about the situation when he decides to check out a support group for new dads where he gets mixed advice.
Chace Crawford and Anna Kendrick play Marco and Rosie, feuding food-truck owners whose impetuous act of passion results in an unplanned pregnancy. Kendrick is the star of this duo. She brings great emotion into her character while dealing with emotional obstacles that are thrown her way.
Brooklyn Decker plays a trophy wife, Skyler, who finds herself pregnant with twins and Elizabeth Banks plays Wendy, author of baby books who comes to find that actually experiencing pregnancy is a lot more different than the perceived idea of it.
With an all-star cast such as this one, there’s a possibility that the audience would become more invested in one over another, depending on who they become more emotionally connected to.
Banks brings more onto the table than the rest with her characters insane nonstop discomfort and frightening moods swings caused by hormones.
With her natural comical vibe, she brings everything together with all the intense physical details.
Another factor that keeps “What To Expect” enjoyable is Chris Rock’s involvement in the film. Rock, who plays Vic, the leader of a new-father’s support group, who act more like a fraternity with high-fiving, drinking out of baby bottles and calling each other ‘bro’.
Even though the script is a little lacking, it’s evident that Rock’s character is meant to bring in some extra comical relief to an already likeable ensemble.
Overall, the cast had good on-screen chemistry. It was a bit of hit-and-miss coming from Matthew Morrison and Cameron Diaz, who weren’t as believable as the others.