Friday, May 18, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting

When you're in summer blockbuster mode the question is, how do you compete with an 800 pound gorilla like 'The Avengers'?  Clearly competing for the same audience doesn't work, as proven by 'Dark Shadows' lackluster debut last week.  So how about counter-programming with a movie targeted to women based on a well known guidebook about pregnancy.  Yeah, that's the ticket!  But to do that you still need to make it worth going to see, and this ain't no 'Bridemaids'.

The premise here is very basic.  Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, and Brooklyn Decker play five pregnant women dealing with all those cliche pregnancy issues, as well as with their babies' daddies.  And that's exactly what we expect from 'What to Expect', but this film tries to be too many things yet doesn't really succeed at any of them.  It has a few funny moments but big laughs are few and far between.  It makes attempts at being dramatic and romantic but they don't work.  And there's even an effort made to include those unfortunate men who've been dragged to the film by their ladies through the repeated return to a 'bro walk', consisting of four dads including Chris Rock, and a soon-to-be-father, walking their babies and making the most of their 'bro' time.  The most surprising thing about this movie is that it was directed by a man, and I'm not sure that was the right choice here.  By attempting to make this all things to all people, I think it ended up being only mildly appreciable to few.  Granted I'm a man with no kids so this isn't my wheelhouse.

Grade: C

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