The latest film chronicling the road to parenthood hits theaters today! Yep, What to Expect When You're Expecting, the movie very very VERY loosely based on the popular guidebook for expectant parents, is here and jam packed with big celebrity names, including Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, and more!
The story follows five couples as they trudge through the pre-baby preparation process and all its highs and lows. But do they get it right? Isn't that what you really want to know? How realistic is What to Expect's representation of pregnancy and waiting for baby? Well, I watched the movie with a critical been there, done that mom eye, and here's my review of what they got right and what they got wrong ...
What the movie got right:
Conception stories: In real life, stories about the path to baby run the gamut. It takes some couples months, even years to conceive while others get "lucky" after one steamy night without even giving a thought to babymaking. Some couples can't conceive at all, and some women suffer loss and miscarriage. For covering several of these stories, the movie gets it right.
Pregnancy is hard. Some women may not agree when Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) confesses, "Pregnancy sucks!" (although I do ... mostly ...), but I don't think there's a mom out there who'll disagree with what she says next: "Making a human being is hard. I have no control over my body or my emotions." Word.
The Dads (Dudes). Finally, a movie that shows dads as caretakers! Real caretakers! Sure, the Dudes are goofy, over-the-top caricatures of dads, but they're wearing babies, pushing strollers, hanging out in the park, and more! This coupled with the wonderfully poignant moment when Vic (Chris Rock) explains that the dads really love the insanity and messiness of parenthood. They may bitch and moan, but that's what they love about it. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Watch a clip of our exclusive interview with Director Kirk Jones, in which he talks about how and why he created the Dudes group:
Stretch marks. Can't remember which character it was now (probably Wendy), but I do remember seeing some gloriously realistic stretch marks on a pregnant belly. Finally! It almost made up for Cameron and Brooklyn's perfectly pretty fake baby bumps.
Rebel Wilson who plays Wendy's store assistant Janice is wonderfully weird and frickin' hysterical. So many genius and insane one-liners. She calls Brooklyn Decker "a magical pregnancy unicorn"? OMG, yes (and yes, we've all known one of those).
Joe Manganiello. Loved his character for obvious (hot) reasons; however, he also made for such a perfect object of the Dudes' pre-fatherhood lust. Don't all parents have that one person who epitomizes (however unrealistically) the "good" life before kids?
Delivery. A few of the delivery scenes felt real-ish (Cameron kinda rocked hers!) and not too too manufactured or trite. Even when Wendy smacks her husband (in that same old overdone pregnant movie way) and says, "Gary, get me the juice!" I kinda bought it. I think.
What the movie got wrong:
Farts. Sure, pregnancy can make some women a little more gassy, but that doesn't mean she's farting uncontrollably everywhere she goes. Come on! Apparently, SOMEONE thought that noisy addition was funny. No.
The Dads (Dudes). As I mentioned, they were a little over the top. I get it. It's comedy. It's over the top for laughs and entertainment value. But couldn't there have been at least one smart, level-headed dude (dad) with whom I'd have felt remotely comfortable leaving a child? Just one?
Labor onset. They never ever get labor right in movies. They always pull the same old labor drama cards. Falling out on the sidewalk in painful labor without a moment's notice. Water breaking on the spot. You'd never know both of these are fairly rare scenarios as many times as we see them portrayed in movies.
What to expect. Obviously, we can't take the movie's title at face value here. At the end of the day, this is a movie. It's entertainment. This is not the place to go for parenting advice.
All in all, if you want a light flick and some laughs about pregnancy and baby prep, go see this movie. However, if you want the real stories and advice about motherhood, make a date with your mom friends -- because a movie about what to truly expect STILL remains to be seen.
Will you go see What to Expect When You're Expecting this weekend?
Image via What to Expect