As much as we know we shouldn't, we all go into things with assumptions – I'm not going to like this party, this television show is going to be awesome, there is just no way that they made that into a decent movie. For instance, let's face it, there's just no way that they turned Heidi Murkoff's phenomenally successful What to Expect When You're Expecting into a decent movie. Right? It couldn't have happened, could it All the promotional material make it look like the worst sort of cash-in and as the book is a work of non-fiction which provides advice and in no way centers on several dysfunctional relationships/individuals, as the movie is, it isn't really going to be based on the book anyway, is it?
Well, the last of these statements is true – outside of there being pregnant women whose pregnancies go differently, there isn't much of the book in the movie (not counting the times the book actually appears, of course). Somehow though, Kirk Jones' direction of Shauna Cross and Heather Hach's screenplay turns what feels like it could be a disaster into a pretty decent way to spend a few hours.
Maybe that is damning the film with faint praise, but it is also the truth of it – What to Expect When You're Expecting will win no awards (Teen Choice nominations not counting), the acting isn't all that great (Anna Kendrick particularly has one or two bad scenes), it isn't hugely funny, it doesn't venture outside the confines of the genre, but it still manages to be carefree and lighthearted enough where none of that matters.
What to Expect follows several couples on their journey from just prior to conception through the course of their pregnancies. The women are all different, with different relationship statuses, worries, hopes, fears, etc. And, perhaps not surprisingly, all the stories are vaguely intertwined (person A has met person B who once worked with person C). Jones handles the various couples well, never lingering too long on one tale before moving to the next.