x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

What to Expect When You're Expecting: unexpectedly dull

Based on a non-fiction parenting manual that has been a US best-seller for decades, this frothy comedy manages to squeeze surprisingly few laughs from such a huge subject.

Cameron Diaz in What to Expect When You're Expecting. Melissa Moseley
Cameron Diaz in What to Expect When You're Expecting. Melissa Moseley

Director: Kirk Jones
Starring: Matthew Morrison, Chris Rock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez
**

Based on a non-fiction parenting manual that has been a US best-seller for decades, this frothy comedy manages to squeeze surprisingly few laughs from such a huge subject.

In fairness, it does feature a sparky ensemble cast, notably Rock in familiar wisecracking mode. Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro play a childless couple considering a possible adoption in Africa, Dennis Quaid and Brooklyn Decker are worried about becoming parents due to their wide age gap, Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone are having trouble conceiving - and so on.

All plausible real-life situations which should have been fertile material for universal humour. Alas, the film's unquestioning celebration of cosy, smug, conventional coupledom eventually grates. But most of all, the thin, lazy script simply does not deliver.