Movie Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

(Image via Ace Showbiz)

I’ve come to realize that, when it comes to movie-going experiences, expectations are key. Often, I hear about how great a movie is, and then I find myself disappointed by how it fails to live up to the hype. With this movie, I experienced the reverse – I expected this to be awful (in the vein of other packed-with-celebrities movies like New Year’s Eve and He’s Just Not That into You), but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not cinematic genius or anything, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. And…I just realized I spent a whole paragraph talking about my own movie expectations and the movie’s title is all about expectations. I didn’t even plan that, I swear.

This film weaves together five loosely related stories, but my favorite of all was that of Wendy and Gary, played by Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone (air marshal John in Bridesmaids!). They were hilarious and totally relatable; while a lot of these stories seemed like the exact opposite of what you’d expect when you’re expecting (i.e. nobody is that glamorous while pregnant), they felt like a real couple. I would totally watch a movie that just starred the two of them.

Chase Crawford and Anna Kendrick played a young couple who get pregnant after their first hookup. I liked their storyline a lot, which surprised me for two reasons. First, while Chase Crawford always brings the pretty, he’s not always so great with the actual acting – but I thought he did a nice job here. And second, I thought it was unrealistic that, despite never having gone out on a date, the two of them were totally willing to raise a child together – it seems like they would have at least discussed their other options.

As for everyone else? Jennifer Lopez was surprisingly moving as a woman desperate to have a baby but struggling with infertility, adoption, financial problems, and her own husband’s uncertainties. Cameron Diaz was fine, but her onscreen partner – Matthew Morrison – drives me absolutely insane, so I couldn’t get behind her storyline. And Brooklyn Decker, playing Dennis Quaid’s much-younger trophy wife, was good, but I wish someone would cast her as something other than the token hot girl so we can see if she can actually act.

So, overall: this movie was not groundbreaking, but good enough for a nice summer diversion at the movies.

My Grade: B-

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