Put a bunch of parents in a room together and they'll always find things to talk about because of their shared experiences. Put a bunch of new mums or mums-to-be in a room together and the chances are, you'll have a group of friends for life ! There's something about pregnancy and motherhood that breaks down inhibitions and creates a real sense of kinship. When you have to repeatedly suffer the cringeworthy experience of lying on a table with your legs akimbo with a group of extremely attentive medical students wandering in to have a good look, asking extremely personal questions about everything from sex, bodily fluids and how many times you go to the toilet, nothing is taboo any more and the statement of "I feel your pain" is more than just a platitude, so - as the recent explosion of mummy-bloggers shows - sharing horror stories of pregnancy and beyond is hugely popular.
I'd heard of the film What To Expect When You're Expecting, based on the best-selling book of the same name, and thought it sounded like the sort of film I'd like to watch, so I was really pleased when I was contacted to see if I'd like to review a copy.
The film has an all-star cast featuring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock, and I was actually a bit concerned that this would detract from my enjoyment. Knowing that J-Lo has twins and Cameron Diaz has yet to experience the joys (and horrors !) of motherhood made me wonder how convinced I'd be by their portrayals of a woman unable to conceive and a mum-to-be. Well, I'll tell you in a minute !
The official blurb says : This hilarious and heart-warming movie follows five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood… Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules (Diaz) and dance show star Evan (Morrison) find that their high-octane celebrity lives don’t stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy (Banks) gets a taste of her own militant-mum advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body. Photographer Holly (Lopez) is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband isn’t so keen and tries to reassure himself by attending a male support group – ‘The Dudes Group’ - where new fathers get to tell it like it really is. The crazy, charming, hilarious WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING shows that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver quite what's expected…"
Well, it's not bad at all but, being used to reading brutally honest, warts-and-all accounts from my fellow bloggers that frequently have me laughing out loud with their eye-watering attention to detail, I did find it all slightly too "nice". While the film does touch on things going wrong, including infertility, miscarriage and emergency C-sections that don't quite go according to plan, it's all a bit too saccharine and light-hearted to really strike a chord with real mums. It's an enjoyable evening's entertainment with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments but it should be watched as light-hearted entertainment in line with rom-coms rather than essential informative viewing for parents-to-be.
star rating : 4/5
RRP: DVD £19.99 / Blu-ray £24.99
Released: 22nd Oct 2012
Features: WHAT TO EXPECT AND THE PREGNANCY BIBLE/ DUDES UNSCREWED / DELETED SCENES
Disclosure : We received a copy of the DVD in order to write an honest review.
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