Review of What to Expect When You're Expecting

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Based on the book of the same name by Heidi Murkoff, this 2012 romantic dramedy gives viewers a look at the lives of five couples as they prepare to become parents. Featuring an ensemble cast of Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker, Chace Crawford & Matthew Morrison.
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Movie review: "What to Expect When You're Expecting"

--Rating: PG-13
Length: 110 minutes
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Directed By: Kirk Jones
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Drama

Life is full of surprises. This is especially true when you have decided to embark upon such a different stage in life as having a baby. Therefore, for those of you who have ever wondered what it would be like to become a parent, this is an eye-opener.

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is a humorous journey through a number of real-life situations, which are rather common to expectant parents. You are invited to share in the experience by following along five different couples; their circumstances are totally different, but they are all in the same boat right now because they are all going to have a baby. Of course, they all take it differently.

The range of personal experiences reflected in this movie is broad enough to cover pretty much all walks of life (with limitations, of course). We get to see pregnancy through the eyes of a TV personal trainer who had decided to start a family with her screen partner. We also get to chuckle as the author of baby books gets a reality check and discovers that what works like a charm in theory may not always stand the test in the actual life. Of course, we get a chance to see pregnancy through the eyes of a young couple for whom all of this is a totally new experience, as well as get the low down by a trophy wife who is pregnant with twins. In addition, for those who are unable to conceive, there is a good tour through the adoption process.

Just like the popular reference book from which the name of this movie has been borrowed, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" touches upon most issues that you would be likely to encounter during expectant parenthood. Business-oriented women may discover that hormones and professional demeanor don't always mix very well and those who are used to being in control may find themselves losing it during this stage of their life.

None of the couples in this movie have a "normal" pregnancy," that is, a pregnancy that follows a classical textbook description. This is what makes this movie more realistic--since hardly any pregnancy in the real life does. Nevertheless, it is full of overreactions, bazaar settings and somewhat far-fetched scenarios. This grotesque approach has been reflected in some reviews as an unrealistic exaggeration, thus earning the movie some negative comments. Nevertheless, the film is full of good laughs, funny situations and dirty pregnancy jokes, which makes it an entertaining and a fun way to stop and think (maybe sometime later that night as you're going to bed) of what having a cute little baby of your own actually entails.

The movie also does a great job of weaving different walks of life together into a plot that is dynamic and logical. It indeed gives you a complete picture of parenthood. It possibly could earn more appreciation from those who actually have gone through pregnancy and delivery and have experienced the unpredictability of both the situations you encounter during the process and your own, hormone-induced reactions. Although some situations may be viewed as clichés and some character's reactions at times may make you want to roll your eyes, the good humor and a quickly developing plot would keep you well into the movie the whole time. This movie may have a little bit of a slow start, but once it gets going, you are on your way to a great experience, good laughs and possibly even some food for thought for your future life plans.

Although a satirical sneak peek into the woes associated with pregnancy and planning for a family is the main purpose and plot of this movie, you may also be entertained by its insight into the many differences between men and women. Sometimes it is good to remember that what is good for a man may be a disaster for a woman, and the other way around is true as well.

Starring Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison and J. Todd Smith, among many others, the movie has a well-selected cast. "What to Expect When You're Expecting" was directed by Kirk Jones, who previously, in such films as "Nanny McPhee" and "Everybody's Fine," has shown his skill in balancing the real-life's comical and dramatic reality. Screenplay was written by Shauna Cross and Heather Hach.

Stars: 3 out of 5