I’m sure we’re all familiar with Heidi Murkoff’s 1985 pregnancy bible. It is probably the most famous guide to pregnancy in the English-speaking world. What To Expect When You’re Expecting, and others in the same series, have sold a staggering 35 million copies worldwide. With a phenomenon like this how long could Hollywood be expected to stay away? And sure enough, in line with the recent spate of films about pregnancy (Knocked Up, Juno, Away We Go), Heidi Murkoff’s best-seller has been given the Hollywood treatment.
One obvious issue is that the book is non-fiction guide to pregnancy. How does this convert into a fictional film? Well, the path has already been paved by He’s Just Not That Into You, 2009′s romantic comedy about dysfunctional relationships that was adapted from the self-help book of the same name. In this instance the scenarios discussed in the book were explored through various characters’ romances. What To Expect When You’re Expecting adopts a very similar approach.
The film follows five couples who are all awaiting the arrival of a baby. There’s celebrity fitness coach and control-freak Jules (Cameron Diaz) and her more laid-back boyfriend, Evan (Glee‘s Matthew Morrison). Holly and Alex (Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro) who are preparing to adopt a baby from abroad. Wendy (Elizabeth Banks), the author of Breast is Best children’s book, and her husband Gary (Ben Falcone) who have been struggling to conceive for two years. Meanwhile Ramsey’s much younger wife’s pregnancy is a happy accident. Finally, Rosie and Marco (Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford) have not even had a proper date when they discover that they are expecting a child.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting‘s star-studded cast is bound to be a big box-office draw – there’s almost definitely going to be an actor you’re fond of here. It is Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, 30 Rock, Scrubs) who steals the show. Her performance lends warmth and humour to the part of Wendy, who we follow as she discovers that sometimes pregnancy presents your body with more than the famous ‘glow’. Dennis Quaid relishes playing the endlessly competitive ex-racing car driver and is both infuriating and entertaining.
The film’s five separate storylines do present it with some problems and at times it feels a little messy. There are funny moments though, many of them provided by the Dads’ group that meet at the weekend and take their children to the park to relieve their partners of childcare duty.
If you’re looking for a sentimental comedy to see with friends this just may be the perfect choice. We at London Mums would certainly recommend it as a post-natal class outing!
UK Release Date: In UK cinemas 25 May 2012
Watch the trailers:
Check out the stars in the flesh at the UK press conference for the movie release. Really nice meeting them with editor Monica Costa. We were totally starstruck sitting only a few inches from them!