“Wasn't What I Was Expecting, It Was BETTER!”
“The Ups And Downs Of Pregnancy, And Some Laughs Along The Way”
As sociology, it's skin-deep, but if you're a parent or preparing to be one, you might see yourself in a few of these folks and have a good time doing so.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The overall mood is of warm reassurance, and some of it is even pretty funny.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
What audiences should expect is a tone-deaf, superficial, charmless ensemble rom-com, focused on five attractive, but uninteresting, couples.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The movie turns out to be a little of everything yet succeeds only occasionally at anything.
Stephanie Merry - Washington Post
The writing is sharp and the performances bright, and if you've been through the forced gestational march known as pregnancy, there are knowing laughs to be had.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
For all the fear, loathing, and overthinking that Murkoff's bedside text engenders, its journey ends with the hopeful beginning of a new life, whereas the movie leaves you hoping for a swift end to your own.
Eric Hynes - Village Voice
What you don't expect is how bad almost all of it is.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Everything that happens in the multiple story lines is entirely predictable; the only question is when.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The plot nearly stalls with gridlock. It's clever but the stories are thin soup.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Technically the genre isn't beneath contempt. But this movie is.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
It makes one long for the comparative complexity and subtlety of Valentine's Day.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
An amiable but disjointed movie with too many stories and not enough storytelling.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"What to Expect" rolls out this shocking revelation: Having kids is a messy and complicated process.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Some of the pregnancies are played for laughs, others are depicted more melodramatically. It's a mishmash of mediocrity.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Helmer Kirk Jones does a solid job negotiating the material and managing the few tonal shifts when an occasional dark moment emerges.
Lael Loewenstein - Variety
The film is dully shot and so predictably plotted, you could tick off the items like you're packing a bag for the delivery room.
Farran Smith Nehme - New York Post
What to Expect When You're Expecting is pretty much what you'd expect. It plays to its target audience with a vengeance, and that audience would be people expecting kids or who can remember their own pre-parenthood jitters.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Patently contrived to deliver the safer side of pregnancy-related humor over the course of five tidily intersecting plot lines.
William Goss - Film.com
It's a sitcom-y ensemble film (complete with product placement) that feels like you're flipping around the TV dial.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
Amid the would-be and actual laughs, the screenplay tries to drum up drama, but every disagreement and tension is treated superficially and summarily resolved.
Sheri Linden - Hollywood Reporter
A good-looking cast of popular actors can only do so much with material that's superficial and sitcommy.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The still-born What To Expect... is an all-star dud that could be easily confused with Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, except for the absence of Ashton Kutcher.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Exactly what you'd expect. And that's not a good thing.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Cute couple Kendrick and Crawford are completely lost at sea. But the guys in the Dudes Group have the worst of it - they are a whiny, unappealing bunch through and through.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Diaz's plotline seems to revolve solely around an argument with Morrison over the merits of circumcision. She's pro-cut. He's fanatically anti-cut. Clearly, as is the film's editor.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
What to Expect When You're Expecting provides a snapshot of contemporary anxieties about imminent parenthood, but it may be more worthwhile as a document for future pop culture scholars to use to understand what was trendy in 2012.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
The charismatic cast (particularly Banks and Lopez) manage to find the humanity in their cliched roles but they can't transcend all the surface-level schmaltz on display here.
Cara Nash - FILMINK (Australia)
Provides good chuckles and heartfelt drama - paired with an equal amount of familiar gags and flat story ideas.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
What To Expect When You're Expecting delivers a stale plot, mostly underwritten characters and almost no joy. Expect little and you may not be entirely disappointed.
Kristal Cooper - We Got This Covered
The highs, lows, unexpected joys and totally expected pains of pregnancy get a comprehensive going over in this consistently funny, warm-hearted ensemble comedy.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
Too bad you can't watch What to Expect When You're Expecting the way most people read the best-selling self-help book: by skipping the unnecessary bits and diving into the important stuff.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
A dirty diaper bag of sex jokes, sentimental mush, cartoonish claptrap and weary parent-to-be cliches.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Those who don't have children would find it rather agonising, while those who do might not wish to pay a babysitter for the pleasure of seeing a film about nappies and epidurals.
Jenny McCartney - Daily Telegraph
I wasn't expecting how warmly I'd feel towards the characters by the end of the movie - and I certainly wasn't expecting to tear up a little bit during one of the couple's denouements. How in hell did that happen?
CJ Johnson - ABC Radio (Australia)
Appears at first to be a superficial appetizer with little on its mind beyond cliche and predictable formula...but some genuine tenderness surfaces..and Banks is terrific.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
These women have nothing that interesting to offer and their husbands are just as dull.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
The creation of human life is the best show you could ever see and What to Expect... the book is a great guide to that process. However the movie adaptation is a shallow concept piece, lazy in its approach and moronic in its execution.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Like childbirth, (it's) very messy and painful at times. But like raising children, there will be a few tears and a few laughs and somehow you'll get through it.
Matt Neal - The Standard
The young Hollywood executives of today were weaned on television's last golden era - the heady days of 'Friends' and 'Ally McBeal' and 'Seinfeld' - and the films now being greenlit seem to come with a mandate for a small-screen mindset and aesthetic.
Simon Foster - Screen-Space
Messy? Complicated? Nah. Turns out all you should expect when you're expecting is to live in the midst of a nine-month sitcom.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The eggs are there; someone just forgot to fertilise them.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
This terrible comedy is a return to the cycle of late 1980s obscoms, movies packed with obstetric detail celebrating the wonders of parenthood.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
The cast gives it their all, but this tepid dramedy lacks fervour and originality.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
As rom-coms go, this one is definitely stillborn.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
It's exactly what we expected it to be. If you're going to have a baby it'd be a good thing to watch. It shows all the things people say to you.
Kayt Bochenski and Nelly Twort - Little White Lies
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
All the leads are ultimately betrayed by a script almost as silly as the idea of building a romcom around a pregnancy guide.
James O'Brien - Daily Mail [UK]
What to expect? Not a lot.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
In the end there is enough pregnancy humour to give audiences a good old belly laugh.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
Someday Hollywood will think of women as more than fallopian tubes in heels; until then, we're stuck with this kind of project.
On the whole, I'd rather give birth.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Mutual loathing and eye-rolling sustain - horribly - many of the couples involved.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Favouring pratfalls over wit and insight, the picture offers only occasional respite in a "dudes group" of dads who meet in the park with their offspring, led by Chris Rock.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Some laughs while you are watching but that old deja vu feeling just won't go away.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Poor Kirk Jones, who directed Nanny McPhee and Waking Ned, can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear of a script. But he could have left out the golf cart chase.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
One of those resolutely bland Hollywood star machines that bears no resemblance to the real world at all.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
While it's not better than you might expect, it passes the time entertainingly enough.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
What to Expect is a shallow and sickly-sweet offering that's best avoided.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Has just enough humour and engaging performances to prevent cramps and nausea during viewing.
The film has a job to do and laughs are provided, if not as laugh-out-loud as fans of Knocked Up and Baby Mama may be expecting.
Victoria Joy - Sky Movies
Largely predictable, by-the-numbers fare, but the likeable cast ensure that it remains just about watchable, even if the laughs and genuine emotional moments are thin on the ground.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
An awful ensemble comedy to complete that Valentine's Day / New Year's Eve box-set, complete with sexist cliches.
Ellen E Jones - Total Film
What To Expect When You're Expecting is the kind of witless schmatz-fest that gives women's pictures a bad name...
Eddie Harrison - The List
Bringing a child into the world is no laughing matter, and all involved seem to have done their level best to make things as mirthless as possible.
Guy Lodge - Time Out
What to Expect trots out the same ol' pregnancy gags, but the film's hilarious Daddy's Group sets it apart from its rom-com peers.
Christian Toto - Big Hollywood
Serves up an adult-sized sippy cup full of good fun, good drama and, most importantly, dirty pregnancy jokes.
Shannon M. Houston - Paste Magazine
An example of how one shouldn't sloppily slap together a narrative feature based on a self-help bestseller.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
...the film's lack of ambition ultimately [prevents] it from becoming anything more than a barely-adequate time-waster.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Following in the footsteps of He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve comes another all-star idiocy that strands a number of good (and some not-so-good) actors in several thematic vignettes of competing dopiness.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Cross and Hach have concocted one of the most bland, basic, and unadventurous scripts in recent memory.
Kate Erbland - Film School Rejects
It is, indeed, what a moviegoer should expect from a genre in which an ensemble cast of famous, pretty faces is loosely strung together by an innocuous holiday or, in this case, baby-having.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
Director Kirk Jones and screenwriters Shauna Cross and Heather Hach consistently fall back on corny music and slow-motion to try to get laughs. Very little of this movie feels risky, or even frisky.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
What to Expect What You're Expecting is exactly what you'd expect it to be... provided what you're expecting is a glossy, obnoxious and thoroughly underwhelming ensemble comedy.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
There's a brief, angelic moment near the end, with the mothers aglow, the fathers proud, and the babies gurgling that almost makes one forget that this is a brutally predictable, wildly unfunny film. Almost.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Terrific film for both men and women and any expectant parent needs to go out and see this and prepare for the road of surprises you will have ahead of you over the next nine months!
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
One gets the sense that the filmmakers had their list of topics and exchanged high fives after doing, say, a scene involving a C-section birth. Cross that one off.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
None of it's really funny, nothing observed feels fresh, nothing shown hasn't been shown before.
Dave White - Movies.com
Drag a guy to this one and he'll never forgive you.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
Remember when advice books stayed on the shelves where they belonged?
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
I can't watch that many characters simultaneously push without feeling like I, too, have been put through the ringer. If only the filmmakers had themselves pushed harder for a more incisive and more daring depiction of 21st century new parenthood.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
For all the wisdom it may have to offer, What To Expect would rather resort to immature humour for kicks.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
Watching 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' is like attending a baby shower where some guests give the mother gifts she didn't want or need.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
It is the birth control of movies. What To Expect When You're Expecting could scare you away from having a baby for life.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Once the finest hack minds in Hollywood finished fleshing out this project, they took the pregnancy-is-hard message and matched it up to characters with the hubris to believe otherwise. With (un)hilarious results.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
I found some of its multiple storylines annoying and hopelessly contrived, at first; it's only toward the end, when the film draws from real life, that it finds its heart and becomes relatable for anyone who has been through pregnancy or parenthood.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
... on balance, a parade of humdrum banalities ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
A feeble, floundering mom-com that gives short-shrift to the 'expectant' experience.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Expecting is uneven and at times struggles under its own weight, but overcomes its shortcomings to be worthy of ponying up for a babysitter for the rare parental date-night.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Babies are cute and expectant parents often aren't. That kind of sums up What to Expect When You're Expecting.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
The closest they come to a minority is Jennifer Lopez adopting a black baby, which is about as much of a minority experience as getting a taxi easily in New York.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
What to expect when you're watching What to Expect When You're Expecting? Not much.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
What to Expect is like what they say about childbirth--You'll scarcely remember a thing when it's over, but you won't need that epidural either.
Marsha McCreadie - Film Journal International
The film wants to be a diverse, all-encompassing examination of contemporary parenting, but it's overly sanitized and insists on neatly tying up each of its stories at the end.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Elizabeth Banks provides the laughs in this-isn't-the-horrible-baby-jokes-lightweight-ensemble-comedy-you-think-it-is.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
All-star cast headlines bawdy, inconsistently funny comedy.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
There's little that feels real or honest in this greatest hits parade of stereotypes about pregnancy and the attempt to disguise it in manipulative sentimentality makes it all the more nauseating.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Director Kirk Jones finds little to love about child rearing in this movie adapted by Shauna Cross and Heather Hach from Heidi Murkoff's advice manuals...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Most of the time, the sentimental rom-com antics and underdeveloped archetypes feel as fake as the big bellies the ladies are showing off.
Jake Mulligan - Boston Phoenix
Don't expect much...You might think it was Garry Marshall's latest holiday-themed multi-subplot stinker.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Expect that two hours will feel like nine months, and that before it's over you'll be screaming for an epidural to your brain.
Ann Lewinson - Kansas City Star
Audiences were expecting more than this.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
As star-studded adaptations of popular, nonfiction, non-narrative self-help books go, 'What To Expect' is surprisingly not terrible.
Stephen Silver - EntertainmentTell
What to Expect When You're Expecting doesn't find new laughs, just layers on attempts at the tried-and-true ones - think one scene in which a woman howls and makes funny faces during labor is funny? How about many of them together?
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
When it works, it's because genuinely funny people are elevating tempered material.
Sean O'Connell - CinemaBlend.com
With this much intelligence about pregnancy, What to Expect may as well have come from the instructions on how to build a table.
Matt Pais - RedEye
With 10 main characters and nearly as many smaller players, "What to Expect" attempts to cover every possible type of motherhood in America and very nearly succeeds.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Is the sight of a woman in labor screaming for drugs ever not hilarious? If you can honestly answer yes, then you might want to see Expecting after all.
Geoff Berkshire - HitFix
Don't expect much.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
To use the appropriate parlance, it's bloated, though the waves of nausea here come more in the third trimester than the first.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
It's a tedious, lifeless mishmash of characters with all the personality of mannequins.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Director James Kirk and editor Michael Berenbaum chop and sloppily paste the scenes with little concern for the overall flow.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The 110 or so minutes ended up feeling like 9 months of cinematic gestation without the glow. (Full Content Parental Review also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
What to expect when you're watching: attractive actors playing unrealistic characters, sitcom-y storylines with predictable outcomes and a heavy-handed family-values message. In other words, warmed-over baby formula.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
Mechanically hits all the manipulative beats and tropes one anticipates while failing to breathe much dimension into the actors vying for screen time.
What the movie needs most is a representative of Child Protective Services to take all the babies taken away from these selfish and superficial people.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
"What to Expect" isn't an inspired movie, but a manufactured one, but one with some laughs and some moments.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Hollywood rarely gives birth to a comedy that's both hilarious and honest. 'What to Expect' hits both chords, defying expectations.
Matt Patches - Hollywood.com
In a year when women's reproductive freedoms are constantly in the political crosshairs, What to Expect When You're Expecting feels like just another affront to anyone who owns and operates a uterus.
Sometimes a dopey sitcom and sometimes a thoughtful look at how intimidating it is to have a kid.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Ideally, four times the protagonists should yield four times the entertainment value; here it only seems to result in four times the cliches.
Matt Singer - ScreenCrush
Has the smug tone of judgmental, know-it-all parents, yet its reliance on tired plot devices suggests that the filmmakers may have actually skipped out on their reading.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
The only surprise is that Garry Marshall didn't direct this jumbled, star-studded kibitz and rename it Mothers Day.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Not quite as bad as NEW YEAR'S EVE- but still not very good. Other than good performances by Anna Kendrick and Elizabeth Banks, don't expect much.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Nobody's waddling into this theater by accident. You need to walk into this theater expecting to see a bunch of babies, some pregnant chicks, a bunch of clueless dudes and when you do that, you kind of have fun because it's not a bad movie.
Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
Considering the appealing cast and relevant subject, the movie is shapeless, rambling, and shallow, unfolding as a pilot for a broad TV sitcom.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
At least a slight step up from director Kirk Jones's last effort, 2009's claw-your-eyes-out-awful Robert De Niro vehicle Everybody's Fine.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
It's the inevitability and uniformity of the film's attitude--as well as the desperately strained and unfunny way in which it puts it across--that's bothersome.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
What to expect from What to Expect When You're Expecting: laughs, heart and a terrific ensemble of actors doing what they do best.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Superficial and frothy...choppy and episodic, and funny - especially when Chris Rock, a veteran dad in real life - is holding court.
A series of sketches, variations on a theme, none of them too long, none of them in any way original - and very little of it amusing.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Several ensemble scenarios have rich promise for interplay, but the manner in which they are staged, photographed and edited undercut their reality.
Brent Simon - Screen International