|Still from What to Expect When You're Expecting|
Intertwining the experiences of five Couples in New York City, What to Expect When You're Expecting brings to the Big Screen Stories inspired by Heidi Murkoff's popular Pregnancy Books of the same name. As often is the case with Movies with All-Star Casts, Story Lines do suffer, but Director Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee, Everybody's Fine) successfully manages to draw some strong performances from his highly talented (and recognizable) Ensemble.
In this super-sized Rom-Com we meet Jules (Cameron Diaz) and Evan (Matthew Morrison), a Couple who are united by a Dancing with the Stars-esque Reality TV Series. We also meet Gary (Ben Falcone) and Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) - the latter a Breastfeeding Advocate and Pregnancy Expert whom herself is struggling to become pregnant. Gary's Father Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) and young Stepmother Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) might be divided by an age gap, but their zest for life is the glue which binds them together. Marco (Chace Crawford) and Rosie (Anna Kendrick) run competing Food Trucks and one day that passion for competition spills over into their personal lives. Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) and Holly (Jennifer Lopez) are a Couple just getting established in their Careers, now contemplating Adoption. Although their lives are rather different, these Couples are all joined by one common thread - they are expecting Children. They each soon learn though that this isn't quite what they were expecting.
What to Expect When You're Expecting is well aware of its stature primarily as a Comedy, yet it hits all the correct notes emotionally, capturing the essence and beauty what it means to become a Parent and giving the gift of Life. Some of the Humour borders on Judd Apatow-crude, yet through it all, the experience is rewarding. Tears and sniffles are unavoidable, judging at least from the response at the Screening I attended.
Lopez truly delivers some of her best work here, while Banks is commanding whenever she appears. Decker may be a Newcomer to Film, but holds her own against several Black Type sorts here. Most natural on-screen is the sizzling Chemistry between Kendrick and Crawford, although their intriguing Story Line falls flat after showing much promise early.
What to Expect When You're Expecting gives Ladies the right to be "Pro-choice" at Theatres this weekend amidst the Battle of the male-centric Blockbusters. Alliance Films releases Friday, May 18, 2012.