The latest big screen comedy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, follows the pregnancies of five very different couples. What to Expect has all the bases covered from fertility problems and miscarriage to adoption, morning sickness and caesarians. Chris Rock also offers something for the boys – a weekend ‘dudes’ group that trawls the park with the kids and glorifies muscular lady’s man Davis (Joe Manganiello) who represents their lost bachelor days. With an all star cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Glee star Matthew Morrison, What to Expect should be much better than it is.

Unfortunately, What to Expect has few surprises and is much too light on laughs. Father-son conflict between expectant dads Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) and Gary (Ben Falcone) is a nice idea but the tension isn’t taken far enough to be laugh out loud funny. The ‘dudes’ group is another idea that sounds hilarious in theory but doesn’t deliver on screen. The script just isn’t sharp enough and becomes far too sugary when the boys declare how much they really love being dads.

This type of ensemble movie, following a range of tenuously linked people, is becoming tired and What to Expect does nothing to inject renewed excitement into the genre. An unplanned pregnancy with tragic consequences for Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford) is the most heartfelt story – this would have made a better romantic comedy in its own right, ditching What to Expect’s plethora of obnoxious characters.

Short on laughs and often sickly sweet, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is easy to watch but ultimately disappointing.

VERDICT: ✪ ✪

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