What to Expect when You’re Expecting
Friday, June 01, 2012

Director: Kirk Jones; Cast: Cameron Diaz, Mathew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock

If only the entire movie had focused on the dad’s group and didn’t just drop in on them a handful of times, we might have been onto something here. Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon and Rob Huebel are among the dudes who meet regularly to push their kids in tricked-out strollers, tote them in high-end carriers and talk guy stuff in a confidential setting away from the wives. Their no-nonsense banter, and their unabashed worship of the buff, shirtless jogger who frequents their neighbourhood park, livens up what is a rather predictable and clichéd depiction of pregnancy. A likable, good-looking cast of popular actors can only do so much with material that’s superficial and sitcommy. This is “inspired by” the advice book of the same name, one that every single pregnant woman on the planet surely has read since its initial publication in 1985. But similar to 2009’s He’s Just Not That Into You, director Kirk Jones’ film merely uses the title of a familiar non-fiction book as a leaping-off point to explore various relationships, ostensibly for hilarious comic effect. There are some laughs here and there and a few recognisable moments of honesty. More often, we get the kind of contrived, unbelievable wackiness that breaks out when all the pregnant women whose stories we’ve been following just happen to give birth at the same hospital on the same night. Being crowd-pleasing was obviously more important than being truthful. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick. PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements and language. 110 minutes. — AP

Rating: ***

DVD classics:  Releases you may have missed over the years

Notting Hill (1999) (PG-13)

Will (Hugh Grant), who runs a shabby corner bookstore in London’s Notting Hill, bumps into Anna Smith (Julia Roberts), Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. He falls in love with her and, wonder of wonders, she begins to evince interest in him as well. But then, the Beverly Hills vs Notting Hill reality kicks in.  

Duration: 124 minutes

Genre: Romantic comedy

What’s good: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Love rules. Ditto, the soundtrack. 

What’s bad: Do you still believe in fairy tales?

Cast: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rhys Ifans, Alec Baldwin 

Rating: **** 

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) (R)

Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is a 30-something, foot-in-the-mouth spinster, worried about bio-clock ticking, who embarks on an affair with her handsome boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), the “office scoundrel”. She is also intrigued by the hot-shot “nice-but-boring” lawyer (Colin Firth). What becomes of the triangle?

Duration: 97 minutes

Genre: Romantic comedy

What’s good: Superlative acting, slice-of-life situations and British humour at its very best

What’s bad: The very mediocre sequel it triggered off 

Cast: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant 

Rating: *****




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