BLOGS

<i>What To Expect When You’re Expecting</i>: Exactly What You’d Expect

Based on the best-selling life manual, What to Expect What You're Expecting is exactly what you'd expect it to be... provided what you're expecting is a glossy, obnoxious and thoroughly underwhelming ensemble comedy about the joys and terrors of impending parenthood. For a subtle, nuanced and genuinely funny depiction of this major life change, give the movie a miss and spend your time catching up on NBC's Parenthood instead, especially since the show has been renewed for another year of Braverman hijinks. But if you do decide to test your tolerance for cheesy sitcom-level writing, slumming stars and extremely forced heart-tugging moments, here are the ten most annoying things you can expect to see onscreen.

1. Lame Pop Culture References
In a misguided attempt to prove "hip" and "current," the movie features lazy, already-dated riffs on everything from the tabloids to reality TV shows. The worst offender by far is a storyline featuring Cameron Diaz as a Jillian Michaels-like trainer -- not-so-cleverly named Jules -- for the competitive weight-loss series Lose It and Weep (i.e. The Biggest Loser) who goes on the competitive dance series Celebrity Dance Factor (i.e. Dancing with the Stars) and winds up getting knocked up by her dancing partner Evan (Matthew Morrison). If you thought the Dancing With the Stars spoof in American Reunion earlier this year was cringe-inducing, this is much, much worse.

2. The Continued Abuse of Biggie Smalls' Legacy
As if the sanitized Biggie biopic Notorious wasn't enough of an insult to his memory, What to Expect manhandles one of his signature tunes, "Hypnotize," by playing it over a shot featuring a crew of infant-carrying dads -- led by the formerly cool Chris Rock -- walking towards the camera in Reservoir Dogs-style slow motion. Is no classic song sacred anymore? If they start using Khia's "My Neck, My Back" to hawk diapers, we quit.

3. Brooklyn Decker
Not content to just let her awkward line readings and stiff presence sink this week's Battleship, the model also pops up here as the trophy wife of an ex-racecar driver (Dennis Quaid). Most of the other characters don't care for her because she's perfect in almost every conceivable way; we don't care for her because her "acting" mostly amounts to standing around posing for the camera. Where's Kathy Ireland when you need her? She was pretty funny in Loaded Weapon.

4. Endless Breast Puns
Elizabeth Banks trades in her Effie Trinket-wig for a fake pregnancy belly as Wendy, the owner of a boutique children's store who has just written a book that espouses the glory of breast feeding. The name of the store? The Breast Choice! And we thought guys are the ones who always have boobs on the brain.

5. Matthew Morrison and Cameron Diaz Debating Circumcision Over the Phone
Watching Mr. Schuester discuss the state of his penis may be more painful than the actual procedure

6. Abortion Goes Completely Unmentioned
To be fair, most of the female characters in the movie are actively trying to get pregnant, so it's understandable that this subject wouldn't come up in their storylines. However, there is a plot thread where it seems an entirely logical and legitimate matter to discuss, the one involving food truck owner Rosie (Anna Kendrick), who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand with Marco (Chace Crawford). Despite the fact that they're both young and completely unprepared for parenthood, there's never a moment where they contemplate not having the baby. The fact that the screenwriters don't deem it necessary to even give Rosie that choice is a thoughtless oversight on their parts.

7. Jennifer Lopez's Age-Defying Appearance
Granted, this is due more to our own bitterness rather than anything J. Lo does wrong in the movie. The fact that she's 42 and looks 22 can only be sorcery of the highest order.

8. Terrible Behavior Passed off as Parental Wisdom
Besides the kids he's having with Decker, Dennis Quaid is also the father of a grown son named Gary (played by Melissa McCarthy's real-life husband Ben Falcone) -- who, for those of you keeping track on your character flow chart, is also married to Banks' character -- and to say he's been a bad dad for much of his life is putting it mildly. His strong competitive streak and belittling attitude caused Gary to gain a ton of weight (which he lost by going on the fourth season of Lose It and Weep -- it's all connected, people!) and left him feeling perpetually second-rate. Despite screwing up his kid's life, the movie abruptly absolves Quaid of his sins when he comforts Gary during a moment of crisis and then passes on some words of wisdom about fatherhood... wisdom that he clearly didn't live by. Maybe he'll try a little harder the second time around with his new offspring.

9. A Wasted Reno 911 Reunion
Ex-Reno cops Tom Lennon, a.k.a. Lt. Dangle, and Wendi McLendon-Covey, a.k.a. Deputy Johnson, have small roles here as a married couple who squabble over the correct pronunciation of their son's name (Henry vs. Henri). Is that really the best use of their talents? At the very least, they should have accidentally shot somebody.

10. It's One Ugly Movie
We're not talking about any of the cast members here, all of whom are allowed to retain their glamor even in the midst of childbirth. No, we're referring to its overall (lack of) visual style; the cinematography is flat and washed-out, the locations completely generic (although the movie was supposedly filmed and set in Atlanta, it could be any California suburb) and director Kirk Jones demonstrates little flair for shot composition. If the filmmakers have kids themselves, here's hoping they lavish more care and attention on them than they obviously did on this movie.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

Movies Without Pity

March 2014

6 ENTRIES

February 2014

7 ENTRIES

January 2014

6 ENTRIES

December 2013

12 ENTRIES

November 2013

14 ENTRIES

October 2013

12 ENTRIES

September 2013

8 ENTRIES

August 2013

9 ENTRIES

July 2013

11 ENTRIES

June 2013

12 ENTRIES

May 2013

9 ENTRIES

April 2013

8 ENTRIES

March 2013

16 ENTRIES

February 2013

8 ENTRIES

January 2013

6 ENTRIES

December 2012

11 ENTRIES

November 2012

12 ENTRIES

October 2012

11 ENTRIES

September 2012

10 ENTRIES

August 2012

13 ENTRIES

July 2012

6 ENTRIES

June 2012

10 ENTRIES

May 2012

9 ENTRIES

April 2012

11 ENTRIES

March 2012

14 ENTRIES

February 2012

8 ENTRIES

January 2012

6 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP