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What to Expect When You're Expecting - Film Review

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by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
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It's common for movies to be based on popular books. It's just that usually those books are fiction or autobiographical. A movie based on a 1984 self-help pregnancy manual is less common, perhaps for good reason.

What to Expect When You're Expecting, directed by Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee) is a rom com and its tenuous link to the popular baby book of the same name is pretty much limited to its title and the fact that there are pregnant women in it. Lots of pregnant women.

The basic premise of the film revolves around the loosely interconnected lives of five couples as they each find out they are having a baby. No stereotype is left untouched in this film: there is the young couple who fall pregnant after a one night stand; the ultra-fit celebrity who must contend with 'sharing' her body with her baby; the woman whose pregnancy is a complete mess, farting and discussing her haemorrhoids in public; and the gorgeous young woman who remains glamorous and upbeat for her entire pregnancy and literally coughs the baby out with a drug (and pain) free delivery. Sure, just like me.

It also touches on slightly deeper issues such as miscarriage, IVF, and adoption but ultimately this is meant to be a comedy. Although I could relate to most characters and situations (except being ultra-fit or glamorous), I found there were only a few laugh-out-loud moments. Most of these were provided by the 'dudes group' a bunch of Dads, led by comic Chris Rock. 'You don't know what love means until you've wiped someone's butt'.

There were a few poignant moments, a few chuckles, a few cringe-worthy scenes and I did see someone wipe a few tears away, but generally the movie was just 'ok'. If you were indeed pregnant for the first time or thinking about it, I would not recommend this film, as it's neither helpful nor educational. However if like me, you've already popped a few out, there's enough in the film to ring true, but only if you lower your expectations.

'I like morphine we should get some for the house', slurs Wendy as she undergoes an emergency Caesar.

Also starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Morrison (from Glee) and Aussie Rebel Wilson.
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Why? Perhaps wait until the DVD comes out
Where: A cinema near you
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