No, I'm not about to offer you a no-holds barred view on pregnancy, although, certainly I have a few stories to tell... Last night I settled down to watch the film What to Expect When You're Expecting with my husband. Clearly, it's more of a chick-flick than a man type of film but Mr M will watch most things without complaining. He's good like that. I was offered a review copy of the film, and as I am a bone fide chick-flick film lover, well it seemed rude to turn it down.
What to Expect When You're Expecting is inspired by the best-selling book of the same name and follows the stories of five couples (Rosie & Marco, Wendy & Gary, Ramsey & Skylar, Evan & Jules, Holly & Gary) that are expecting their first child, all under very different circumstances and whose intertwined lives are turned upside down.
The film was pretty much as I had expected with lots of pregnancy jokes and the usual rom-com formula. You are immediately lured in by the cast of well-known actors - Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Anna Kendrick, Chace Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid Cheryl Cole, and Megan Mullally to name but a a few! You may also recognise Rebel Wilson who was in Bridesmaids last year, she's great in this film and one of the main characters, Wendy, is played by Elizabeth Banks, I don't think I have come across her before but I think she gave the best performance in this film.
It's definitely a film that is aimed at people who want children, are pregnant or have children. Outside of that I doubt it would appeal very much. As someone who has been pregnant a couple of times myself I could empathise with one or two of the characters and some of the jokes did make me laugh out loud. At one point Wendy and her assistant are looking out at the beautiful Skylar and her assistant Janice says "She's like a magical pregnancy unicorn". Didn't we all come across at least one person like that during our pregnancies? You know, the person who sails through pregnancy and labour without any trouble, barely even breaking a sweat, gaining no weight and looking fabulous all the time whilst you are spotty, greasy and breaking wind every time you walk?
What I hadn't expected was to get a bit teary and emotional. Okay, I get a bit teary and emotional over a lot of things but I'd completely thought this was a comedy. It is of course, but there are a couple of really touching moments in this film that I wasn't expecting, that brought a tear to my eye. As with all the journeys we make to reach that bouncing bundle at the end, things can and do go wrong, whilst trying to conceive, during pregnancy and the labour and even in our relationships. The film doesn't gloss over this fact and manages to touch on these subjects sensitively.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. The mix of comedy, romance and heartbreak was just right for me ('tis what makes a good chick-lit film after all - well that, and a well-placed dance routine, although sadly, this had none...). Did Mr M enjoy it? He laughed in places and could definitely emphasise with some of the man stuff. We both laughed at the epidural conversation in the hospital as we had the exact same conversation when I was in labour so I am thinking that's a common occurrence! On the whole though whilst you can enjoy the film as a couple who has been there, done that and had the dirty nappies, it's not really a film a man is going to get excited about.
It's was never going to win an Oscar but for some light entertainment and a film that leaves you with a bit of a warm feeling (and that's not down to my pelvic floor) it's not too shabby. I enjoyed it a lot and it's a film I would definitely recommend to my girlfriends.
What to Expect When You're Expecting is released on 22nd October 2012 and will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
I was sent a pre-release copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting in return for writing a review. All words and opinions stated in the review are my own.