Fri 18 May 2012
I make poor decisions. Instead of thinking things out and really considering the consequences, I tend to go on impulse and hope things shake out in the end. Once again, I threw caution to the wind and in this particular case, it was when choosing to watch and review “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”.
As a 30+ year-old male who has no children (that I know of) and no real desire to make that reality come true, probably the only demographic less suited to watch this film are lying six feet underground. Based on the well-known instructional book of the same name, the screenwriters have carved out a few archetypal scenarios, made sure they cross paths in the least clever and increasingly frustrating fashion, and relied on the casting department to fill those characters with well-known faces sure to excite the XX chromosome crowd.
There’s obviously no beating around the bush here, like morning sickness I think the best way to get through this is word-vomit out a review. The film plays out like “Valentine’s Day” or its sibling film “New Year’s Eve“. On the plus side, this is better than either of those movies; having 5 major story arcs rather than 17 or whatever the hell those had. It allowed for a decent amount of development, though it was still far too shallow to really explore any profound speed bumps along the way.
The acting is about what you’d expect. Considering my general loathing of Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, that my brain didn’t pop a blood vessel should be seen as high praise. Helping mitigate their efforts is a good supporting cast of comedians who generally ensure there’s not too long of a lull between jokes. The humor isn’t gut busting but was pleasant overall (at least in my view, the screening audience ate it up like pickles and ice cream).
The obvious truth about the movie is that the title isn’t a lie. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll get what you expect you would. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” will satiate its target demo and I’d have given it a passing grade for that fact if the screenwriting wasn’t so lazy (do all movies need multiple story arcs that criss-cross? NO, they don’t.). As it stands, a 2.5 is all I’ll muster up but hopefully I’ll have learned my lesson and will think harder about whether a film like this needs me in the audience.
And that this is being released opposite “Battleship“, in the most obvious counter-programming of the summer season, is no surprise. If you’re a guy dating a girl who wants to see this, encourage her to make it a girls night out. You’ll both be happier.