What To Expect When You're Expecting: "Well, I'm Calling It...Pregnancy Sucks"

Director: Kirk Jones
Writer:    Shauna Cross
               Heather Hach
Starring: Cameron Diaz
               Matthew Morrison
               Jennifer Lopez
               Rodrigo Santoro
               Elizabeth Banks
               Ben Falcone
               Dennis Quaid
               Brooklyn Decker
               Anna Kendrick
               Chace Crawford
               Chris Rock
               Joe Manganiello
               Rebel Wilson
               Wendi McLendon-Covey
               Megan Mullally
               Cheryl Cole
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now

I'm gonna be kinda honest and say that not since British film Love Actually has an ensemble film worked well...they've tried with Valentines Day and New Year's Eve, but they always fail to capture the magic. Even in this sickly sweet, a-list actor, lead dramedy about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, a major connection between audience and actor is missing. As we follow 5 separate couples (who's stories all link up) going through various types of pregnancy, some more emotional than others, but each with the same underlying message...having a baby is the meaning of life.

Matthew Morrison & Cameron Diaz
What To Expect When You're Expecting, the best-selling pregnancy guide written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, supplies the inspiration (and title) for the film, with each story being inspired by those in the book. The oversized, ridiculously gorgeous all star cast throws in anybody and everyone, from big screen stars Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz to sall screen stars Chace Crawford and Matthew Morrison. 

Even Britain's national treasure, and ex X Factor judge Cheryl Cole makes a cameo...as herself...playing a reality TV judge...don't stretch yourself honey. However, the award for best cameo has to go to Will & Grace star Megan Mullally, who in her very few scenes, made me laugh out loud without fail (her cameo is so good in the film that the rating changed from 2 stars, to 3).

Anna Kendrick & Chace Crawford
The whole film is basically a mish-mash of different ideas. It is literally like everybody shoved their ideas into one script, cramming in storylines and characters to fulfill the needs of every demographic. The biggest example is the random relaity TV thread. Jules (Diaz) is a small-screen fitness guru, who has also been competing on a TV dance contest. It's here she met her partner Evan (Morrison), something for the Glee fans. 

Of course if vampires are more your thing, then keep an eye out for Twilight's Anna Kendrick, who's partner in crime is Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford. And if you are just here for the laughs, then they of course throw in stand-up comic Chris Rock...just so everyone is happy.

To this already jumbled mix, they add a couple struggling to conceive (Banks & Falcone), one looking to adopt (Lopez & Santoro) and embarrassing in-laws (Quaid & Decker), and there's literally something for all, which isn't always a good thing. The whole mash up of stories and stars are also let down by the cliched rom-com moments, that aren't always funny, or interesting for that matter.

Elizabeth Banks & Ben Falcone
Along side the comedy, we do have a few more serious moments. including Wendy (Banks), and her IVF treatment. For various reasons, she finds the the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy a struggle, and is probably the most thought-out personality in a film that mainly plays for cheap laughs. Things also take a dramatically dark turn with with Kendrick and Crawford's relationship. I'm guessing they added this aspect to the story, to tell another side of the pregnancy story, but in a film that is so light and fluffy, it did feel out of place. Having said that, it was an emotional scene, and despite being added purely to draw out some tears for audience members, it did have an emotional affect on me.

Now, I know it's coming across like I hated the film but despite the cliches and stale comedy, there was the tiniest but of charm behind it all/ Whether t was the casts chemistry, or the fact it is about babies I just don't know.

For a Hollywood Rom-Com/Dramedy, it does tick almost all of the boxes to make it a success. But because it goes about it in all the wrong ways, it feels overworked, and to jam packed with needless information and characters. The cast is superb, and do have great chemistry, but the many, many, many stories and plot lines really distract from the films underlying message, and that is a real shame.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - Trailer