“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is not the first comedy to bring several stars together in a plot that centers on a singular theme. But it is perhaps the first of its kind to do so on the matter of pregnancy and the couples that go through it.
The movie follows five couples in Atlanta whose lives are drastically changed upon entering the pre-birth period that marks the beginning of parenthood. The cameras begin rolling as the pregnancies are first revealed.
There is celebrity couple Julez (Cameron Diaz) and her half-Jewish husband Evan (Matthew Morrison), who are forced to let go of their glamorous lifestyles to make way for the new addition to their family.
There’s also Marco (Chace Crawford) and Rosie (Anna Kendrick), who were not actually expecting to be parents. The couple find a bean in the womb after a one night stand in their first encounter years after graduating from high school together.
In contrast, couple Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Gary Cooper (Ben Falcone) are more than ready for their pregnancy, having waited years to conceive. Wendy is a baby book writer who finds that the mood swings she faces are difficult to handle compared with the challenges she has written about theoretically. Her psyche is further shaken when she learns that Gary’s father (Dennis Quaid) and his very young wife Skyler Cooper (Brooklyn Decker) are also expecting a baby.
Infertile couple Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) have struggled through several programs attempting to get pregnant, all for naught. They finally decided to adopt a child from Kenya, but Alex continues to wrestle with the frightened anticipation of what being a dad is all about.
While presenting how a woman’s pregnancy and her accompanying mood swings affects couples, director Kirk Jones in his fourth film also presents the father-to-be side of the equation. This portrayal is not only entertaining, but also serves as encouragement for those fathers-to-be out there who might not be certain of what they’re actually in for.
In her excitement at the adopted child they will soon call their own, Holly introduces Alex to the “Dude Group,” four fathers of young children who meet in a park every weekend. As the four share their routine dad experiences — changing diapers, day care pick-ups and the like — they help Alex to overcome his fears and instead eagerly await fatherhood.
The story is made the merrier by a slate of cameos including NBA star Dwyane Wade, Whitney Port of “The Hills,” Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) and Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas, as well as Cheryl Cole and Tyce Diorio.