“What To Expect When You’re Expecting”
Those of us in the grandparenting stage aren’t exactly the target audience for this ensemble movie about couples have babies. So forgive us if we aren’t exactly surprised by some of the “surprises” about pregnancy learned by these earnest young couples: a woman’s body changes in ways that aren’t always under her control (really?), the prospective parents might not agree even on a name, much less about the possibility of circumcision (no joke), Dads are capable of changing diapers, also (but we didn’t feel the need to form a support group about it), some grown men still have unresolved issues with their fathers (which may or may not be resolved with parenthood), some pregnancies are more difficult than others (duh), some baby deliveries are more difficult than others (double duh), and this is a good time to give your partner a lot of slack (now this was actually worth reiterating).
Since there are no real surprises here, the film is going to have to stand or fall on the actors themselves, and the quality of their performances. It’s good to see Jennifer Lopez again; she manages to be beautiful and still makes us feel like she’s one of us. Brooklyn Decker’s beauty is much more inaccessible, like she’s more of a statuesque Barbie doll than a real person, but at least they let her do something besides smile, once.
Cameron Diaz convinced us of the labor involved in going into labor, though nobody said anything about the advisability of a 40-year-old doing this. In former days we would have said “elderly primipera,” though that term doesn’t even appear in today’s computer spell checks. Elizabeth Banks adds some much-needed levity, and it’s always good to see Anna Kendrick, even if she did have to play the sad part. Matthew Morrison, of “Glee” fame, still has star power on the big screen, and Chris Rock, though in a subdued secondary role, is still a commanding presence.
But there’s no real unifying theme here, especially if the premise is that everybody’s experience is different. Well, of course it is, Captain Obvious. There are some random chuckles here and there, but it’s certainly not a knee-slapper. Though there’s plenty of talk about sex, there’s no nudity, and only enough “crude humor” to keep out the little kids.
This one’s good for maybe a Friday night popcorn rental after the kids are in bed.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving , Texas