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What to Expect When You're Expecting

What To Expect When You're Expecting

Released 25 May 2012
Director Kirk Jones

Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Chase Crawford
Writer(s) Shauna Cross, Heather Hach

Arnie Messer, David Thwaites, Mike Medavoy
Origin United States
Running Time 110 minutes
Genre Romantic comedy
Rating 12A

Accept the Expected.

When doing a little bit of research before going to see What to Expect When You're Expecting (WTEWYE), my immediate reaction was to decide what would be the suitable amount of time allowed before making a sneaky getaway exit while nobody else was looking. Unfortunately, my mind then wandered back to the harsh reality of “my principles” of never having once done such a god-awful thing – not even for Marie Antoinette, which, let me tell you, was a close call!

So to my surprise and ultimate delight I found myself smiling throughout a funny, sometimes charming, and always safe, family-planning romp. 'Safe' isn't intended to be a wise-crack pun about avoiding pregnancy, although I suppose it is ironic. No, this movie is safe in the sense that it is completely and entirely predictable – but if you let that fact slide it will be worth your while.

WTEWYE is based on a simple premise. It follows five contrasting but interconnected couples who, in some way or another, find themselves expecting a child for the first time. All the usual, stereotypical clauses about pregnancy, fear of being a parent, money woes, relationship trouble, and the rest are crammed into this motion so you can feel assured in the knowledge that you don't need to expect the unexpected.

This may put people off as, for the most part, formulaic rom-coms don't exactly entice a viewer – particularly of the male persuasion. My advice, guys? Don't be so hormonal! This film has plenty of laughs, especially in the first half which helps to initiate the immediate interest. Alas, the second half is a little played out but there's still enough in there to keep everyone happy before bedtime.

In addition, the ensemble cast all play their roles well, each couple representing a variant example of regular and popular cultured parenthood. You will have seen everything in this movie somewhere else before, and so what? It's cute, it's funny and it's written well. I'm not going to suggest WTEWYE as a film for a date because, well, you know. But in terms of it being a successful trip to the cinema, it's baby-proofed.

- David Caulfield