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What to Expect When You're Expecting: Don't expect much

Rating: *1/2

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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING
*1/2
DIRECTED BY Kirk Jones
STARS Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez

Cameron Diaz in What to Expect When You're Expecting (Melissa Moseley / Lionsgate)
  • Cameron Diaz in What to Expect When You're Expecting (Melissa Moseley / Lionsgate)

Following in the footsteps of He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve comes What to Expect When You're Expecting, another all-star idiocy that strands a number of good (and some not-so-good) actors in several thematic vignettes of competing dopiness. This adaptation of Heidi Murkoff's nonfiction guide is a tad improvement over the aforementioned titles, largely because it doesn't go out of its way to insult the intelligence of its viewers. That's not to say the picture is particularly funny or insightful, but at least it's relatively painless.

Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, deemed first among equals (in other words, they're the only performers here who receive top billing and aren't integrated into the rest of the alphabetically arranged cast) are two of the five women facing the prospect of mommyhood. Diaz's fitness guru is pregnant, as are Elizabeth Banks' author, Anna Kendrick's food-truck manager and Brooklyn Decker's trophy wife. For her part, Lopez's photographer is planning to adopt an Ethiopian baby. All five women have somewhat supportive — and extremely vanilla — husbands or boyfriends, so don't expect to see any single moms here. Also don't expect to see any gay couples, any discussions of abortion (even though one struggling character unexpectedly finds herself with child), any worries about the financial hardships of raising an infant (Lopez loses her job but lands another one in precious little screen time), or any suggestions that childless folks can be just as happy as ones in possession of little bundles of joy (Chris Rock is on hand to hammer home this point). Like Battleship, this movie must cater squarely to Middle America; otherwise, what was the point of making the darn thing?

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