Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Trailer For 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Brings Two Comic Book Legends Together Watch: First Trailer For 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Brings Two Comic Book Legends Together Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 10 Best & 5 Worst Cannes Film Festival Openers Ever The 10 Best & 5 Worst Cannes Film Festival Openers Ever The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Review: 'Expecting' Makes An Argument For Forced Sterilization

The Playlist By Kimber Myers | The Playlist December 5, 2013 at 7:07PM

Originally titled “Gus” for its festival appearances, “Expecting” could more accurately be named “87 Minutes with Unfunny People You Will Hate” or “An 87-Minute Commercial for Why You Shouldn’t Move to L.A.” We can’t remember the last time we liked characters less than the ones in this film. We’re generally big fans of unlikable characters; when done well, they draw us in and keep us engaged, but they have to have humor or charm or interest or...anything to make up for being horrible people. It’s also challenging to have a movie full of them without anyone or anything redeeming to serve as a counterbalance. The characters in “Expecting” aren’t just unlikable; they’re unwatchable.
5
Expecting

Originally titled “Gus” for its festival appearances, “Expecting” could more accurately be named “87 Minutes with Unfunny People You Will Hate” or “An 87-Minute Commercial for Why You Shouldn’t Move to L.A.” We can’t remember the last time we liked characters less than the ones in this film. We’re generally big fans of unlikable characters; when done well, they draw us in and keep us engaged, but they have to have humor or charm or interest or...anything to make up for being horrible people. It’s also challenging to have a movie full of them without anyone or anything redeeming to serve as a counterbalance. The characters in “Expecting” aren’t just unlikable; they’re unwatchable.

Expecting

Radha Mitchell stars as Lizzie, a woman desperate to be a mother. She and her husband Peter (Jon Dore) have gone through several rounds of IVF unsuccessfully. When her single friend Andie (Michelle Monaghan) gets pregnant from a random hookup, she decides that giving her baby to Lizzie is the perfect solution to both of their problems. The only catch is that Lizzie wants Andie to stay their home throughout her pregnancy, causing issues between all parties involved. Peter and Lizzie’s marriage is already strained due to their fertility issues, and adding the unpredictable, filter-free Andie doesn’t help. Lizzie and Andie are alternately so close that they box out Peter, but they take breaks so that Lizzie can try to run Andie’s life. Peter alternates between being frustrated with his wife, his new roommate and both of them at the same time. Further complicating things is the arrival of Peter’s recovering addict brother Casey (Michael Weston) and the couple’s incontinent dog, Joyce.

The situation is ridiculous, acknowledged largely by Lizzie and Peter’s therapist (Mimi Kennedy, providing the majority of the film’s sparse laughs). The only thing worse than lending money to a friend is offering your unwanted fetus to her, but “Expecting” manages to pack in both unwise behaviors. Speaking of money, we’re not sure where anyone in this movie gets theirs. Though they live in an impeccably decorated hippie-chic house in L.A., Peter is an unsuccessful realtor who blows it with a major client, while the unemployed Lizzie tries to make ends meet with part-time work as a tutor. She also does cartwheels and sings a lot. Like more than she actually works. Meanwhile, we have no idea how Andie funds her existence, to say nothing of how she helps Lizzie make their mortgage payment. It can’t be getting paid for coming up with punny names like Gaseous Clay and Clammy Davis Jr.

Expecting

These are awful people, and not in the entertaining way that vintage-era The Gang from  “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is. Even the normally magnetic Monaghan elicited more groans than giggles. All around, the performances are fine, but they can’t move past the script from first-time director Jessie McCormack. She’s created a group of people that you’d avoid at a party, and being stuck with them for an hour and a half makes you feel like you’re being punished for doing something really awful. Overall, it’s not a poorly constructed movie from a technical standpoint, particularly for a first feature. The performances work as much as they can, we weren’t annoyed by the cinematography and the set design was something out of shelter blog house tour. However, none of that makes up for the shoddy script that suffers from terrible dialogue and unlikely situations.

We appreciate that this is a movie more about friendship than romance, with the close bond between Andie and Lizzie driving the film. While it may not succeed at anything else, at least “Expecting” passes the Bechdel test. There’s so much more to talk about here than just men, like pregnancy gas and sensitive nipples. We’re fans of well-executed humor where women are just as raunchy as their male counterparts, and we appreciate the level of frankness around the pregnancy experience, but we just wish it were consistently better. Give us farts, but please make them funny ones. [D]


This article is related to: Michelle Monaghan, Radha Mitchell, Michael Weston, Reviews, Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates