Friday, July 5, 2013

What to Expect Review

Last year, when the What to Expect When You're Expecting movie came out, there were a lot of opinions on the Internet, especially about the way the movie portrayed the stay-at-home-dads' group. Was the movie fair? Was it helpful or demeaning to dads? Was it accurate?

Well, I finally had a chance to watch the movie, thank Netflix, and form my own opinion.

Dude Group
First, here's the plot, from what I remember. I watched it two days ago, and it's almost all gone by now. There were some pregnant women. J. Lo was a photographer. There was a golf cart race. And that guy from Gossip Girl was going out with the girl from Up in the Air. And Chris Rock led a group of stay-at-home-dads that met in the park. They all had a man-crush the wolf-man from True Blood. See, because he was a symbol of their lost masculinity. Ha, I just figured it out. And they had a code about what happening in dad group staying in dad group. And there was hilarity. Oh, I'm pretty sure the dads' group was called a dude group. Because bacon, I guess.

What to Expect bro
But in the end, the transformation of fatherhood into lowest common denominator is expected. Of course it's offensive to dads. It's offensive to moms too. It's offensive to anyone who's ever watched a movie. It's a formulaic romantic comedy, and any relation to reality is accidental. The relation between the parents in the movie and real parents is about as close as the relation between Baltimore in He's Just Not That Into You and the real Baltimore. It's as close as Hugh Grant and a real human being.

Sure, although it's a year too late, I can complain about the depiction of stay-at-home dads as testosterone-deficient men. But what's the point? It's a freakin' romantic comedy. I'm not the target audience of What to Expect. My wife is not the target audience. No one I know is the target audience of this movie. The only reason my brain retained any information about the movie is my need to have an opinion about it. And now, that I know the way this awful, awful movie depicts men in general and stay-at-home dads in particular is as meaningless as its plot, I can instruct my brain to let go. And move on.

Go ahead, brain, forget this movie. Make room for better things. Isn't Breaking Bad starting again soon?


  1. "mom really likes it",....ha! That's a good indicator. Though my mother took me to see World War Z on my birthday after seeing the premiere the night before with my step-father. I can't rag on my mom's movie choices much, as she sees EVERYTHING.
    If movie reviews could be as simple as yours: It Just Sucks.
    I think we'd be better off.

  2. I'd watch it ... it's full of good actors. :)

  3. Ha, it's more like a getting their paychecks and running away project, though. After that, they all probably did community theater for a few months just so they could face the mirror again.

  4. I remember enjoying the film more than I expected, particularly the banter between the men. At the time, I wasn't Daddy blogging ... I wonder if I would view the film differently now that I'm more invested in this subject and men's reactions to media images of fatherhood ...

  5. I think for me, just being a dad was enough to see how far these characters were from real people. I remember when it came out, a lot of bloggers objected to the portrayal of stay-at-home-dads, but I didn't care too much about that. The general suckiness of the movie was bad enough.

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