By Dave Rosenthal
2:41 PM EDT, May 18, 2012
The reviews are lukewarm at best for "What to Expect When You're Expecting," a movie loosely based on the hot-selling book series by Heidi Murkoff. Charming moms-to-be, including Anna Kendrick and Cameron Diaz, deal with the emotional and physical challenges of pregnancy, while their significant others, including Chris Rock, act boorish. Here are excerpts from reviews:
-- Los Angeles Times: As Murkoff knew and mined so well, there is a lot of nature-made comedy to be found in the discomforts of distended bodies, raging hormones and altered relationships. There is also pathos and pain, especially for couples who can't conceive. The movie ... has grand ambitions and has signed on a cast of thousands (only a slight exaggeration) to try to touch all those bases. But rather than the engaging enlightenment of the source, the film becomes bloated by confusion.
-- Chicago Tribune: It's wafer-thin, but it has plenty of laughs — a lot of them involving pregnant women's bodily functions, the rest coming from Chris Rock, who unloads lots of daddy-to-be wisdom on one prospective father. But what's surprising is how touching this film — from the director of "Waking Ned Devine" — manages to be. Kirk Jones and the screenwriters found real pathos in adapting the Heidi Murkoff self-help book, dubbed America's pregnancy bible.
-- CNN: The jokes are feeble and the conflicts never transcend sitcom material -- in other words, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is entirely predictable and not a little redundant. The days when the movies would discreetly close the door when a woman went into labor ("Hot water, and lots of it!") are long gone.
-- Washington Post: Is director Kirk Jones’s film a farce, populated by crazy caricatures? Or is it a crash course in every potential prenatal complication? How about a dramatic account of failed pregnancy attempts and first bonds? The movie turns out to be a little of everything yet succeeds only occasionally at anything.
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