Complete A-Z list

What to Expect When You're Expecting


Stars: Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Brooklyn Decker, Chace Crawford, Ben Falcone, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Genesis Rodriguez

Director: Kirk Jones

Portmanteau romcoms have gotten something of a bad name of late, especially after New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. But this one, though it has its share of cringeworthy moments, may be a bit better than, well, you're expecting.

Its chief asset is Banks, as the coy author of Breast is Best, who finds having her own first child is one long round of suffering bodily indignities. Finally reaching the delivery ward, she changes her mind about the epidural. 'I love morphine,' she gasps. 'We should get some for the home.'

Elsewhere, the statuesque trophy wife (Decker) of Banks' husband's father (Quaid) sails through her expectancy of twins; fitness guru Diaz gets pregnant by her partner on a reality dance show and vomits into the trophy (handy); photographer Lopez agonises over adoption; a quartet of househusbands, headed by Rock, perambulate through the park; and fast food van owner Kendrick pays the price for a car-top quickie with fellow stallholder Crawford. They come across as pretty silly, but maybe that's the idea.

It's a curate's egg of crass and gentler wit, amusingly perceptive observations, look-away scenes and warmer moments and, as such, a passable evening out, if hardly a date movie. One quibble: the actor (Falcone) playing Quaid's son is nothing like him, about six inches shorter and a good few pounds heavier, and even looks close to the same age. A black mark to the casting agents.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour by deluxe.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 May 2012