Monday, July 16, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Mitä odottaa kun odotat / What to Expect [Swedish title]. US © 2012 Lionsgate / Alcon Entertainment. P: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, David Thwaites. D: Kirk Jones. SC: Shauna Cross, Heather Hach - inspired by the books (1984, etc.) by Heidi Murkoff. DP: Xavier Pérez Grobet - digital intermediate: EFilm. PD: Andrew Laws. AD: James F. Truesdale. Set dec: Halina Siwolop. Cost: Karen Patch. Makeup: Leigh Ann Yandle. Hair: Betty Lou Skinner. Prosthetic makeup: Margie Latinopoulos, Clinton Wayne. VFX: Hydraulx VFX, Crafty Apes, Method Studios, Encore VFX. M: Mark Mothersbaugh. S: Glenn T. Morgan. ED: Michael Berenbaum. Casting: Deborah Aquila, Tricia Wood. C (from English Wikipedia): Cameron Diaz (Jules Baxter, a contestant on a celebrity dance show and a host to a weight-loss fitness show), Jennifer Lopez (Holly, a woman who adopts a baby from abroad with her husband after difficulty conceiving), Elizabeth Banks (Wendy Cooper, Gary's wife who becomes pregnant. Runs the The Breast Choice Boutique), Chace Crawford (Marco, who reunites with an attractive old flame (Rosie) after a turf war between their respective food trucks), Brooklyn Decker (Skyler Cooper, the wife of a much older man named Ramsey), Anna Kendrick (Rosie, who reunites with an old flame and fellow food-truck owner and becomes pregnant but sadly suffers a miscarriage), Matthew Morrison (Evan Baxter, who teams with Jules on a celebrity dance show), Dennis Quaid (Ramsey Cooper, the husband of Skyler), Chris Rock (Vic Mac, founder of the "dude group"), Rodrigo Santoro (Alex, Holly's husband who's in music business and is not ready to have a child), Ben Falcone (Gary Cooper, Wendy's husband and son of Ramsey), Joe Manganiello (Davis), Rob Huebel (Gale, a new parent who adjusts to "fatherdom" by bonding with other dads in a city park-based group that is part play group, part secret society), Thomas Lennon (Craig, a father who joins Vic's "dude group"), Amir Talai (Patel, a father who joins Vic's "dude group"), Rebel Wilson (Janice, an employee at The Breast Choice boutique), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Kara, Holly's co-worker and friend), Dwyane Wade (cameo as himself), Whitney Port (cameo as herself), Megan Mullally (cameo as herself), Cheryl Cole (cameo as TV dance talent show judge), Tyce Diorio (cameo as TV dance talent show judge), Taboo (cameo as TV dance talent show judge), Kim Fields (a social worker who helps out a couple with an adoption), Jesse Burch (Hutch Davidson), Mimi Gianopulos (Molly, Rosie's funny roommate who comforts and supports her), Génesis Rodríguez (Courtney, Rosie's roommate). Loc: Atlanta (Georgia). 110 min. Released in Finland by Future Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Janne Kauppila / Heidi Nyblom. 2K DCP viewed at Bio Olavi, Savonlinna, 16 July 2012.

Technical specs (IMDb): Camera: Arri Alexa, Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo Lenses - Laboratory: DeLuxe, EFilm (digital intermediate) - Source format: Codex - Cinematographic process: ARRIRAW (2.8K) (source format), Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format) - Release format: 35 mm (anamorphic), D-Cinema - Aspect ratio: 2.35:1.

English Wikipedia about the books: "What to Expect When You're Expecting is a pregnancy guide, now in its fourth edition, written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel and published by Workman Publishing. Originally published in 1984, the book consistently tops The New York Times Best Seller list in the paperback advice category, is one of USA Today's '25 Most Influential Books' of the past 25 years and has been described as 'the bible of American pregnancy'. As of 2008, over 14.5 million copies were in print. According to USA Today, 93 percent of all expectant mothers who read a pregnancy guide read What to Expect When You're Expecting." There is a whole family of books under the What to Expect label.

About the movie: "The story follows five Atlanta couples who 'suffer the many joys of the childbirth process'. Ramsey and Skyler are married, Gary is Ramsey's son (Gary and Wendy are married). Skyler's cousin is Rosie (who is involved with Marco). Gary was on Jules' weight loss program who met with the dancer Evan whom she is having a baby with. And finally to tie it all in, Wendy's photographer is Holly (married to Alex) who recommends Skyler to use her for photos later on." (English Wikipedia).

Sometimes a good movie may be inspired by an unlikely source, such as Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), inspired by and parodying David Reuben's best-selling sex manual. I also liked Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia based on Julie Powell's blog in which she reported on her project to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Although I was aware of the reviews I was expecting a better movie than What to Expect is. I like Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, but sometimes an indifferent movie can result from good ingredients. This comedy is a multi-character study, a cross-section of society, of mothers of different ages and occupations. There is a miscarriage, there is a Caesarean section, there are twins. A feelgood movie, What to Expect doesn't avoid difficult and painful facts of life, but somehow it remains on the surface and fails to engross.

Finland is a country where mothercare, circumstances of pregnancy and terms of motherhood have been traditionally exceptionally advanced, and the circumstances of these Atlantan stories seem somewhat strange to a Finnish viewer. Probably What to Expect will be a hit among young Finnish mothers anyway.

The colour is bright and the image is clear in the 2K DCP.

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