Alright, so there are many BMT weeks where as Thursday approaches I wait in anticipation for the day to finally arrive. Where I have an inkling that I’m about to watch a film that will go down in the anals of BMT history (pun most definitely intended). This is not one of those weeks. This is more like a week where Patrick and I try desperately to replace the film that we’ve foisted upon ourselves through our strict combination of genre/cycle and ultimately fail. In this case finding a pro athlete featured in a bad chick flick that we haven’t already seen produced only one (!) viable choice. That choice is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Apparently Dwyane Wade is featured as … something… in the film. I really don’t care. I hate that we have to watch this film and I have to read (?) the book for my BMTsolution. Damn it! Let’s go!
What to Expect When You Might be Expecting (2012) – BMeTric: 36.7
(Decently stable. Nothing really interesting except that it seems like it should stay in the 35-40 range. Definitively BMT.)
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Overlong, multi-character comedy about the pressures and problem of pregnancy, adoption, and impending parenthood featuring a likeable (and exceptionally attractive) cast. Rings hollow at first but gains traction as the script eschews cheap laughs and hews closer to real-life, relatable experiences. “Inspired by” the best-selling nonfiction book of the same name by Heidi Murkoff.
(Eschews and hews in the same sentence?! Not to mention a stellar “p” alliteration run at the start. Leonard was really indulging himself. I’m really glad that he put “Inspired by” in quotes. Because I definitely “read” this book in preparation for BMT.)
(Huh… well that wasn’t as unpleasant as I thought it would be. I like a lot of the people in the cast and the guy group had some funny lines. Looks like it could be a better version of Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve.)
Director(s) – Kirk Jones – (Known For: Everybody’s Fine; Nanny McPhee; Waking Ned Devine; BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: An accomplished commercial director, he won the Silver Lion at Cannes in 1996 for his Heinz advertising campaign. Going to be the director of the upcoming Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.)
Writer(s) – Heidi Murkoff (books) – (BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: I genuinely cannot believe she actually has a credit. The book is considered one of the most influential books of the last 25 years)
Shauna Cross (screenplay) – (Known For: Whip It; BMT: If I Stay; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: Former roller derby participant, she wrote the book (and screenplay) for Whip It. Is credited for writing Bad Santa 2.)
Heather Hach (screenplay) – (Known For: Freaky Friday; BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: Has won multiple awards for Freaky Friday and the musical adaptation of Legally Blond. Wikipedia claims her daughter’s name is HarperCollins, also the publishing company which published her novel Freaky Monday (a sequel to Freaky Friday).)
Actors – Cameron Diaz – (Known For: The Mask; There’s Something About Mary; The Holiday; Bad Teacher; Shrek; Being John Malkovich; Gangs of New York; Shrek 2; Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; The Box; Knight & Day; My Sister’s Keeper; Charlie’s Angels; Vanilla Sky; Shrek the Third; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; The Other Woman (BMT); What to Expect When You’re Expecting; The Sweetest Thing (BMT); Sex Tape (BMT); A Life Less Ordinary; Gambit; Annie (BMT); Feeling Minnesota; The Invisible Circus; Slackers; Keys to Tulsa; The Counselor; Notes: Won for Worst Actress, The Other Woman / Sex Tape (2014); Nominated for Worst Actress, What Happens in Vegas (2008), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress, Annie (2014))
Budget/Gross: $40 million / $41,152,203 ($84,384,002 Worldwide)
(Solid hit. I love when Box Office Mojo has a niche genre that you can look through. This is the ninth highest grossing “Pregnancy” film of all time. The lowest grossing wide-release film in the genre? The Brothers Solomon. As if there was ever a doubt.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (29/132), The cast is stocked with likable performers, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting is too disjointed — and too reliant on stock rom-com cliches — to live up to its distinguished literary namesake.
(Uh oh. Disjointed is exactly what you don’t want with a movie based on a pregnancy information guide. A bit surprising though considering the movie only has two main screenwriters. It isn’t like 15 scripts were (necessarily) smashed together into a monster script. I’m ready to devour rom-com cliches though.)
Poster – There are Fifteen People on this Poster
(Disorienting, too many colors, I like that the letters are slanted because it would make Patrick’s job harder if he spoofed the poster, but that’s about it. Also, there are like three too many pregnancy puns going on. Speaking of…)
Tagline(s) – It’s too late to pull out now. (Uh… … … wot?)
(Egad! That’s… unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, the tagline is fantastic. It’s short. It’s clever. It tells you a little about the plot using a solid double entendre. But it feels like it might be a bit at odds with the target audience and the sentiment of the film. Just a tad. [My wife’s take: “That’s too crude. I don’t like it.” Told yah.])
Notes – Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lopez are the only actresses cast as pregnant women who have children in real life; Lopez gave birth to twins, Banks has two sons via a surrogate. Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, and Brooklyn Decker have never had children. (While I personally don’t care, it is a weird casting move I feel like)
Based on the popular series of pregnancy guides by the same name. As of 2011, more than 14.5 million books have been sold.
Razzie Awards 2013: Brooklyn Decker (also for Battleship) and Jennifer Lopez each Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress