The Narrow Worldview of "What to Expect When You're Expecting"
Heidi Murkoff's mega-best-selling manual, What to Expect When You're Expecting, actually makes perfect sense as a vehicle for Hollywood, an industry banked on bathroom humor. But while the book's journey ends with the beginning of a new life, the movie leaves you hoping for a swift end to your own.
That feeling has less to do with the terrors of pregnancy than it does with the gargoyles What to Expect presents as characters — a tableau of yuppie soullessness, including Cameron Diaz's newly pregnant fitness guru, who upchucks on a reality-TV dance show; Wendy (Elizabeth Banks), a Snuggie-wearing mom wannabe who runs a shop called "Breast Choice"; and Holly (Jennifer Lopez), a children's photographer who's hoping to adopt despite the reservations of her callous hubby.
Soon, we're cycling through baby bumps, sonograms, and marital meltdowns between irrational alpha gals and their resentful, ineffectual patsies. Once the babies arrive, the film, much like the culture at large, insists that pleasure ends when parenting begins, yet also that the parenting life is the only one worth living. God forbid there could be something in between.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.