Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: What to Expect When You're Expecting (+trailer)

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Jennifer Lopez in What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Photo / Supplied
Jennifer Lopez in What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Photo / Supplied

A warm, light-hearted comedy based on the book of the same name, this follows five couples facing parenthood for the first time.

The characters are a familiar collection of common stereotypes, or an exaggerated version of them, but there are some genuine laughs to be had at the usual suspects - hormones, flatulence and weakened pelvic floor muscles.

The couples are pulled together by at times tenuous links, some are family members and others pass briefly by each other.

But, as we've seen with Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve the ensemble cast format is very forgiving of individual storylines, and allows What to Expect When You're Expecting to appear to have an idea that's bigger than the individual parts really deliver.

There's the baby-obsessed couple who've been trying to get pregnant for two years (Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone); the ex-racing car driver and his trophy wife who can conceive twins on demand (Dennis Quaid, Brooklyn Decker); and the charming couple who turn to adoption (Jennifer Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro).

Accidental pregnancy is also covered. There are the 20-somethings who learn you only have to "do it" once to make a baby (Anna Kendrick, Chase Crawford), and the ambitious mid-30s reality TV stars who struggle to fit pregnancy in their busy careers (Cameron Diaz, Glee's Matthew Morrison).

If it takes a village to raise a baby then I guess it makes sense for an ensemble cast to make a film about expecting one. It's just a shame the ensemble wasn't pulled together in a way which added value to the stories, and that we don't get to see past the cliches.

That said, this village is full of likeable performers and impressive fake bellies.

Stars: 3/5
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lopez
Director: Kirk Jones
Running time: 110 mins
Rating: M (Offensive language & sexual references)
Verdict: Mildly amusing, mindless entertainment.


- NZ Herald

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