'What To Expect' delivers
IN What To Expect When You're Expecting director Kirk Jones acts as a skilled mid-wife bringing the film to life.
Turning an advice book into a romantic comedy was never going to be an easy task.
Throw in a huge ensemble cast which at first glance seems a little ill choosen, and you have certainly got your work cut out.
But unlike other high-concept but mostly muddled ensembles - I'm looking at you Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, What To Expect When You're Expecting actually delivers the heart, the laughs and the romance and is a bright and enjoyable jaunt through the comic and at times trying moments of impending parenthood.
Based on the best-selling Heidi Murkoff pregnancy guide, the film follows five very different couples and their various struggles, triumphs and failings with pregnancy.
The stories, albeit one, are cleverly connected in far less contrived ways than other ensemble films and for the most part simply subtly overlap.
The film storyline chronicles all aspects of pregnancy and having a child covering a full gamut of experiences and the effects such a big event has.
Everything from adoption to sore nipples, swollen feet and surprise pregnancies are covered.
It is a glossy film but it isn't afraid to tackle some deeper issues and the difficulties involved with bringing a life into the world.
The best comic moments come from Elizabeth Banks as a pro-pregnancy author finding the experience a little more stressful than imagined.
She works the material like a pro and brings both comedy and a sense of realism to the role.
The film does have it's flaws with a few limp plot moments and at times the tone was a little off and it was difficult to tell if some elements, particularly the reality TV storylines, were meant to be sincere or a send-up.
There are also a couple of characters and their particular story arcs which are little neglected and under developed making them seem a little ill placed.
Like pregnancy the film is not perfect, but it is a joyful and fun ride that delivers the laughs.
What To Expect When You're Expecting
- Stars: Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock
- Director: Kirk Jones
- Rated: M
- Verdict: Three out of four stars