Starring: Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez
Director: Kirk Jones
Running Time: 110 mins
What To Expect When You’re Expecting is an American film about 5 different couples who all go through the trials and tribulations of having a baby, and despite all having a wonderful image in their mind of their future family, nothing goes as expected.
Now, while this film has an interesting idea behind it, it really doesn’t work. Showing five different families all going through the same ordeal, yet showing that the experience is different for everyone is, on paper, quite a clever idea, but the fact that all you see is five stories that are ultimately identical, and yet never connect, makes it feel like you’re watching five different TV shows all at the same time, turning the whole thing into an incredibly messy affair.
However, to start with the main positive. This film, while it could be labelled as a rom-com, has next to no cheesy romance in it. Therefore, that does leave a lot of room for some good farce, and this film fills that gap quite well, creating a steady stream of gags that, while not incredibly hilarious, aren’t terrible, and occasionally can leave a smile on your face.
But apart from that minor good point, this film is pretty awful. Firstly, the performances. Filled with a lot of big names, a lot of them used to the rom-com genre, you’d expect some quality acting in this film, but, as the story goes, you have to prepare for the unexpected.
While all of the characters were not at all interesting, all of the actors just seemed like they were phoning it in. Big names like Cameron Diaz and Anna Kendrick really didn’t seem at all enthused by their part in the story, while the rest of the main cast was pretty boring to watch. In fact, the only decent performance was probably by Chris Rock, who was just a crazy guy who had very little part to play in the story.
Also, the way that this story works, with five consecutive, yet unconnected stories going on, should mean that you get an equal distribution between characters, however that doesn’t happen at all. While Jennifer Lopez’s story gets big attention the whole time, ones like Anna Kendrick’s effectively stop about 40 minutes into the film, and then they don’t reappear until 5 seconds before the end just to show that they’re still alive, which shows just how badly this story setup works.
In the end, all the stories do link up (sort of), but only in the most cheesy, preposterous and seemingly forced way possible, meaning the film really ends on a low note with an attempt to tie everything up, so overall, this gets a 5.0 from me.