James Cameron memorably imparted a distasteful analogy when he was doing the press rounds for “Avatar” and journalists would ask what the filmmaker-cum-megalomaniac’s next project would be. “You don’t ask a woman if she wants to have more kids when she’s crowning.” snapped the tousled-haired millionaire. As unpleasant as the image of Jim Cameron splayed on a doctor’s table waiting for his gold-plated “baby” to drop from his loins undoubtedly is, it’s an appropriate metaphor for another trend that’s crowning for real: bland self-help non-fiction books nonsensically translated into fiction films. To wit: “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Marley & Me”, “Yes Man” and now the stupidest one yet, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, a fictional adaptation of the perennially popular series of books penned by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel that guide men and women who are — duh — expecting to bring a child into the world in the near future.
According to The Wrap and Deadline, the project’s just added two actors who probably should know better – Anna Kendrick and Chris Rock – to its roster of seemingly thousands, joining the already-announced Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Isla Fisher and Brooklyn Decker. No doubt “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” will be the pregnancy movie to end all pregnancy movies, with such an expansive cast promising a veritable “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” for our times, only, you know, instead of being about a madcap cross-country treasure hunt it’ll be about offensive caricatured stereotypes of women who might want to start thinking about settling down and squirting out some progeny before they get too old. How long before Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston sign on?
Author Murkoff’s Twitter feed delightfully announced earlier today that Kendrick’s casting, as a young lady who reunites with an old flame when their food trucks come into competition (because young people love food trucks!), meant that “another new delivery” was on the way, even though she misspelled the actor’s name. The only baby-related ‘delivery’ we can think of that springs to mind in this situation that’s remotely comparable is a turd-filled diaper being hurled through our kitchen window by the ghost of Meg Ryan.
But let’s go over what we already know about the film. It casts the twenty-four year-old former swimsuit model Decker as a smugly spermatized “sports wife” up the duff with twins, much to the chagrin of her childless female friends. Sounds hilarious. Decker previously stretched her limits as a thespian by playing opposite Adam Sandler in “Just Go With It”, where she lusted after Sandler’s ineffably attractive plastic surgeon for some reason. The film also boasts Kirk Jones as its director, a man who cut his teeth making Absolut Vodka commercials in the 1990s before upgrading to kiddie fare like “Nanny McPhee” in 2005. His last film as writer-director “Everybody’s Fine” was, in fairness, reasonably well-received so perhaps we’re being too hard on the guy. With a cast like this, though, we can almost see the head of this foul-smelling infant poking out now.
Whilst there have been some other character details leaked, let’s ignore those for a second and assemble our own speculative list for what to expect when you’re expecting “What Expect When You’re Expecting”: (This is all wild conjecture, of course)
A trailer cut to The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” where all the characters turn to the camera and smile for a moment in their luxury penthouses.
Lopez starring as a tender and big-butted ‘wacky’ obstetrician who tours schools literally wrestling with real-life storks to teach elementary school children about “the birds and the bees.” She lives in a luxury penthouse.
Diaz starring as a seasoned yet ‘wacky’ gynaecologist nicknamed “The Mack” for her maverick approach to inspecting female genitalia, who menaces pregnant women with her patented pimpstick if they don’t heed her unconventional advice. In a luxury penthouse.
A group of men will appear fretting about becoming fathers over a six pack of ice cold Buds, whilst making some casually homophobic remarks in their luxury penthouses.
A cameo appearance by Katie Holmes who dances around the pregnancy section of a department store whilst munching on a placenta to the tune of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” before returning to her luxury penthouse.
All reports indicate that “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” will, like fellow chocolate box ‘romantic’ fantasias like “Valentine’s Day” and “Love Actually” before it, be marketed as the “feel-good” movie of its respective movie season, in spite of the excruciating pains associated with childbirth and the cynicism of the project reading like an unofficial sequel to “Rosemary’s Baby“.