WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING

by Bernadette Verzosa

MOVIE REVIEW: What To Expect When You're Expecting, Rated PG-13 

     This comedy somehow captures the highs and lows that expectant couples go through, in a plotline that will mostly keep you smiling, but will also move you in its tenderness. It is very funny, yet it manages to also delve into the unattractive, serious and heart wrenching matters that can surface during the unforgettable nine-month-stretch.

     The film is inspired by the book "What To Expect When You're Expecting," by Heidi Murkoff, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1985. Many of us pored over its pages during pregnancy. The filmmakers and screenwriters adapted the book's essence of diverse experiences and challenges by creating an ensemble cast of twelve lead actors, and weaving everyone's individual perspective into the story.

     The couples' pregnancy predicaments vary widely. The actors cast as expecting pairs are: Cameron Diaz & Matthew Morrison; Jennifer Lopez & Rodrigo Santoro; Brooklyn Decker & Dennis Quaid; Elizabeth Banks & Ben Falcone; and Anna Kendrick & Chace Crawford.

     Some of the most hilarious dialogue exchanges are in the scenes of the "Dudes Group" park play dates. "Dudes Group" is an informal Daddy Support Group led by actor Chris Rock. The most important club rules: (1) No Judging, and (2) What's Said At Dudes Group, Stays At Dudes Group. Consequently, this is where they confess to all sorts of parenting accidents, like letting the babies roll off the diaper changing table and not telling the wife.

      The film takes place mostly in Atlanta, Georgia. It was shot there last summer, with the help of baby whisperers. They were needed for many shoots that called for several babies together, like the "Dudes Group" scenes. There are some scenes that required 35 babies and toddlers be present on set, on the same day!   

     Asked why they signed on to do the movie, both Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez saluted the book and author Heidi Murkoff. "I think it's very, very clever, this movie concept based on the book," says Diaz, "It's one of those books that have been around and a part of almost everyone's life. When you read it, it feels like you're getting advice from your best friend who's been through it all."

     Lopez says, "The book is amazing, which is why it's so popular," she says. "It tells you exactly, week to week, what's happening to you in the moment. I think women, by nature, when we're pregnant, are so worried that everything's going to go okay. And here you have this book saying, ‘This is supposed to be happening. Don't worry. You're supposed to feel like this.' I think the movie does the exact same thing. It reassures you by telling five totally different stories about being pregnant and making you laugh."

      Dennis Quaid says he brought to the set memories of his own son's birth nearly twenty years ago. "I remember with my first, just before he was born, guys were telling me about how it's a club, and I didn't understand what it was like to be in that club until he opened his eyes in the room," says Quaid. "Once they're born, you suddenly get what it's like to be in the club, and basically, that your life as you knew it is over, that's it's no longer just about you.  Now it's all about putting someone else first.  And that's a great experience." 

      "I think the movie really taps into the joy of having kids," says Chris Rock. "Being a father is the best gig I've ever had, and there's really nothing anybody can do to truly prepare for everything that it is.  Doesn't matter how much money you have. Doesn't matter what kind of job you have. Kids are great. And they love you no matter what."


P.S. Thanks to everyone who used ParentsPost.com's code, to pick up their free passes to the May 15 advance screening of "What To Expect When You're Expecting."





 

 





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