Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest Post: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Today on Progressive_Scan I hand the reins over to guest writer Merry Knight. Usually Merry writes about parenting and being a new mom over at So You Have a Tiny Human, but today she takes a look at Hollywood's most recent self-help-book-to-ensemble-drama adaptation What to Expect When You're Expecting.

What to Expect When You're Expecting is the most popular pregnancy book of our time. It is also one of the most contested. Natural parenting advocates have long spoken ill of the book, largely due to its stance on things like breastfeeding and bed-sharing. When the news came out that the 'pregnancy bible' was going to be turned into a movie, many were concerned that the movie would lead to even greater popularity of the book.

They needn't have worried.

"What To Expect When You're Expecting" is one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. I expected the movie to make me angry, and it did, but not for the reasons I originally thought. The movie took absolutely no stances on anything that could remotely be considered controversial. There was about a 5 minute tiff between Cameron Diaz and her boyfriend (Mr. Shuester from Glee) about whether or not they would get their son circumcised. The writers managed to tiptoe around even this small bit of drama, with a surprise gender change at the last second. "It's a girl! Hooray! This movie has no conflict!"

The producers attempted to do what so many others have before them: to make up for bad writing by just including a shit ton of celebrities. I mean seriously, a shit ton. We have Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford (who I'm told is famous?), Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Rebel Wilson, Matthew Morrison, Kim Fields, and Anna Kendrick. I am most disappointed in Anna Kendrick, I thought she was better than this.

Then I remembered this, and it all made sense again:

The star power does nothing for the writing, and instead causes one to lose respect for each and every celebrity involved (who knew I could have less respect for Jennifer Lopez?)

There was the briefest look at the possibility of an emotional moment when Anna Kendrick's character has a miscarriage toward the beginning of the film. Even here, however, I feel that any emotion this situation brought on was solely due to the fact that miscarriages are inherently terrible and sad, and that I, like most women, have had my life touched by one. The writing and acting surrounding this event was not poignant or brave and so eventually even these scant emotional moments were lost in a sea of dull attempts at humor.

Honestly, if you're considering watching* this movie I would suggest considering something else entirely; maybe the weather, or where toadstools come from. I spent almost two hours watching this movie and that is time that I'll never get back.

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