What to Expect When You're Expecting 2012 ½

This took all my years of film training not to turn it off within the opening ten minutes and it never improved. In fact if I was a woman I’d be offended that this is the sort of shit Hollywood tries to shove in my face in the name of entertainment. It’s a horrible excuse for a film in every conceivable way from its excruciatingly unfunny attempts at humour to its ultra-conservative message (notice which couple suffer from a miscarriage - no doubt punishment for getting pregnant from a one night stand).

The five interconnected stories about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy are predominantly played for laughs and follow the same template - the woman is confident about wanting a child whilst the silly man is insecure and/or stupid about impending parenthood. Due to the abundance of nauseatingly awful characters it is a film that can only ever deal with the subject of pregnancy and parenthood in superficial platitudes - insecurity subsides when they have the big bundle of joy in their arms - whilst its structure feels ridiculously drawn out and repetitive.

When the film lurches into more serious territory it falls completely flat, not only because it sits at odds with the woeful slapstick and predictable pregnancy gags but because it is handled in such a hamfisted and frankly laughable manner. For a feelgood movie why did it make me feel like ending it all?

21 Comments

  • @antonomasia, please watch sucker punch and write something amazing about it!!! i HATED that movie so so much.

    @cinebro and adam, i'm forced to watch a lot of tyler perry movies because of my mother's ridiculous crush on the man. they are kind of a necessary evil in my opinion, because he does make films that his (very specific) audience enjoys. they get to see people who look like them in situations they can relate to. the only thing is... they are almost always poorly made. but he's made at least three decent films: why did i get married, diary of a mad black woman, and for colored girls. the rest have been pretty painful to sit through. in short... keep avoiding most of them :)

  • I'm still in no hurry to see his films but if I see any of those three on TV I'll give them a watch.

  • @Simone Based on my first impressions you probably wouldn't like it!

  • Adam, you're so right about this movie. And notice the word 'abortion' isn't mentioned a single time. Say what you will about the subject, it IS an option and at least merits mentioning in an 'honest' movie about pregnancy.

    Definitely a Fuck No.

  • Definitely. It seems these types of films are scared to touch on the issue of abortion seeing as it is still such a controversial subject in America.

  • The abortion debate is like a broken record here in the US. There is no point in debating it because the people who are for and against it have their thoughts and opinions cemented regarding that topic. I doubt there will ever be any convincing one way or the other.

  • @Arto: Well there is debating it and completely ignoring its existence. I know this is supposed to be a feelgood movie but you'd think somebody would at least mention it.

  • Whenever it is brought up in a film, it almost always takes the pro-life angle in a way that implies that abortion is a terrible idea. Knocked Up is a particular movie that got under my skin because they tried to hammer in that it would be more admirable and mature of the two main characters to raise the baby, despite neither of them being ready or mature enough for such a huge life changing event. I guess you could argue that it was more about them learning to become responsible parents, but they only seem responsible toward the last ten minutes, and even then it felt so shoehorned in that bullshit Hollywood ending kind of way.

  • Sorry to interrupt but the comments section here just made me realize we seem to have lost Antonomasia.

  • @Arto: Very true. It's rare for any mass appeal studio film to broach the subject.

    @Matt: Sadly she has left due to the lack of being able to control who reads and comments on her reviews and who follows her. There wasn't a specific person or run-in that caused this but it is certainly sad to lose her as she was one of the best users. Hopefully she will be back at some point.

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