Monday, May 21, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting review; exactly what we expected

A movie based on a "user guide" for being pregnant.  The book sold 32 million copies and was absurdly popular among current and future moms.  So naturally, Hollywood found a way to adapt What to Expect When You're Expecting.  With early buzz writing off the film, the studio took a different approach to its marketing... highlight the male characters, "The Dudes", and let's hope for the best.  Yeah, let's do that.  Let's go.

What I liked about the film:
The Comedians
Notice the distinction, comedians, not actors.  The cast is an ensemble one.  Here are the stars in no particular order:  Dennis Quaid, Anna Kendrick, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Ben Falcone, Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon and Wendi McLendon-Covey.  I'm going to ignore every terrible performance in the film and focus on the last three on that list.

Rock, Lennon and McLendon-Covey are terrific.  Their timing is impeccable.  Even with a horrendous script, they manager to muster up the only laughs in the film.   Nicely done.  I'd also like to note Anna Kendrick's performance.  She is the only actor/actress to portray any kind of emotion in the film at all.  Albeit a small (and insignificant part), she did what she could with the material.

What I didn't like about the film:
Minus the three comedians I mentioned above, every character in the film was either forgettable, unfunny, or down right annoying.  By the end of the film I just wanted to scream at the screen and tell Cameron Diaz' character to 'shut it'.  And if that wasn't bad enough, there is no real development to any of the characters.  It's just a hodgepodge of nonsense characters that are neither funny, nor likable.

To make matters worse, the production team will tie the characters together whether it's believable or not!  In the final minutes of the film, Anna Kendrick's character is revealed to be relatives with the Brooklyn Decker character.  Stupid.

The Director
Kirk Jones may have done the unthinkable; made a worse ensemble film than Valentine's Day.  It's just a stupid movie with desperate attempts at pulling at our heart strings.  They try as hard as they can to find relatable characters to every conceivable type of pregnancy and it just falls flat on its face.  Jones is not completely to blame, so too are Shauna Corss and Heather Hach who co-wrote the film.  All of three of them owe me $12.00 as I chose to be a good husband and take my wife to see this crap.

The Verdict:
When Will They Learn?
When is Hollywood going to learn?  These ensemble movies are really hard to make.  Or really hard to make well, I should say.  Is that grammatically correct?  What to Expect When You're Expecting managed to only make 10 million dollars this weekend.  People don't want to see this cliche crap anymore.  Give us something more Hollywood, we deserve better.

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