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Film / What to Expect When You're Expecting

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What to Expect When You're Expecting is a film that focuses on five couples who are prospective parents. It is based on the pregnancy manual of the same name.

The couples in the film include:

  • Jules (Cameron Diaz) and Evan (Matthew Morrison): Jules is a TV fitness guru and Evan is a dance show star whose lives take an unexpected turn upon finding out that Jules is pregnant.
  • Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Gary (Ben Falcone): Wendy is a baby-crazy author who finds out that she is pregnant. Her husband is struggling to not be outdone by his father.
  • Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) and Ramsey (Dennis Quaid): Skyler is expecting twins — while her much older husband, Ramsey, can't resist rubbing the fact in Gary's (his son) face.
  • Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro): Holly wants to adopt a baby from overseas, while Alex has his doubts. Alex seeks the company of a "dude" support group.
  • Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford): Rosie and Marco are rival food truck chefs who unexpectedly meet each other. Rosie gets pregnant in the heat of the moment, but is reluctant to forgive Marco for standing her up back in high school.


  • Age-Gap Romance: Ramsay could easily be Skyler's father, going by age (Dennis Quaid, who played Ramsay, was then 58, Brooklyn Decker 25). Even so, they're quite happy as a couple, and no one directly comments.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The bundle of money Ramsay offers to Gary when he was visiting Ramsay. Gary uses it to bribe a nurse into helping Wendy and Gary.
  • Circumcision Angst: Becomes a point of contention between Jules and Evan. Evan wants their son to be circumcised like he was (he's also a non-practicing Jew) and to improve his future endurance in bed (since circumcision lowers sensitivity in that area), while Jules doesn't want to subject the boy to an unnecessary procedure and risk something happening.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The DVD cover shows the five women together, but they never are in the movie together and are only loosely connected to each other.
    • Also the fathers of the women's babies shown above are not the guys shown below.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Discussed openly. Rosie wakes up bleeding and Marco takes her to the hospital; we see their silent reactions. They are upset, but Rosie masks her pain by implying it's her fault because she hadn't wanted the baby at first, and that it's good for her and Marco, who'd never been on an actual date prior to the one night stand and then the pregnancy. It is implied through dialogue that Rosie suffered a period of depression after the miscarriage. Towards the end of the film, she says to Marco that it will happen again when the timing is better and she's more prepared, and they walk off holding hands.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Rosie briefly brings up abortion since she's accidentally pregnant and unhappy with the fact, but then decides against it. She then has a miscarriage later, by which time she's grown to like being pregnant, and is quite devastated (though hiding it). Rosie thinks it's her fault since she didn't want the baby at first.
  • Happily Married: Skyler and Ramsay, despite their age difference, along with Wendy and Gary.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Discussed, then subverted. Janice tells Jules her sister got herpes because of her pregnancy. Jules retorts that she had it already.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!: Skyler has the easiest birth of the lot, to ridiculous levels. She sneezes and that's enough of a push needed. However, she seems to be the one having the hardest time after the birth, with the ending montage showing her and Ramsey each holding a baby, looking distressed and trying to get them to stop crying, while all the other parents are shown laughing and playing with their children.
  • Lamaze Class: Averted — not one in sight!
  • Law of Inverse Fertility:
    • After deciding to take a break from years of trying to conceive, one of the couples conceives during a drunken romp in the bushes. Keep in mind that she was drinking because they had decided to take a break and therefore she no longer needed to abstain from alcohol. They are a little annoyed when his father and his younger wife managed to get pregnant with no trouble at all.
    • Surprisingly averted with another couple who has struggled with infertility for years and finally decided to adopt. At no time does she finally conceive naturally.
    • Two women get pregnant accidentally, one with her new boyfriend and one during a one night stand. The latter was heartbroken when she lost her child due to miscarriage.
  • Mama Bear: When Ramsey and his buddies embarrass Gary at Skyler's baby shower, she rips him a new one, makes him go apologize, and shuts off any comments Ramsey's buddies might make with a serious Death Glare.
  • Morning Sickness: The opening of the movie, and indicates that Jules is pregnant. Lampshaded by the dance show host.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Rosie never seems to tell her friends about her pregnancy. We might not have seen it, but it can be assumed they know. She was showing, if not much, when she had her miscarriage, and her friends comment on her subsequent depression, as though they know the source. One of her coworkers also observes her staring sadly at parents and children and seems sympathetic.
  • One-Night-Stand Pregnancy: Rosie got pregnant due to an impulsive, one time tryst with Marco.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Alex and Gary. In Alex's case, it's not helped by the Dude's Club, who keep telling him how awful fatherhood is, how tired they are, and how much many mistakes they've made with their kids. When he confronts them about it, they point out that he missed their point. Sure, they say all that stuff, but that's just to blow off steam. In fact, they haven't been happier in their lives. They wouldn't trade parenthood for anything. This actually helps calm Alex down.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jules (on live-television!) when she's getting her first contractions.
  • Saying Too Much: Holly's friend and employer has to let her go because of budget cuts. Holly asks her to keep it quiet, as she doesn't want Alex to know before she finds a new job. Her friend accidentally lets it slip anyway during a party. In retaliation, Holly reveals that her friend's husband has been secretly calling their son Henry instead of "Henri" (Ahn-ree), as she prefers. As a result, Alex is kicked out of the Dude's Group for revealing something they told him in confidence.
  • Shotgun Wedding:
    • Discussed with Jules and Evan. He wants them to get married, while she expresses doubt, claiming that he's only saying that because she's pregnant. He points out that it was always the plan, the baby simply accelerated the events. He finally proposes just after she gives birth, and she accepts (after an initial fake-out).
    • To a lesser extent, with Rosie and Marco. While Marco doesn't offer marriage, he does want to be a part of the child's life and wants to do the right thing. After the miscarriage, she "lets him off the hook" and points out they didn't even have a proper date, so what sort of relationship could they have?
  • Tangled Family Tree: Skyler and Ramsay's twins are young enough to be their older brother Gary's children, and are indeed the same age as—and share a birthday with—their nephew.
  • Theme Naming: Vic's children are named after athletes. His oldest is named Jordan, his twins are Venus and Jeter, and his youngest is Evander.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers imply that the movie is a slapstick comedy with the Dude's Group having a major focus. While it is a comedy, it does have plenty of serious moments towards the end and the Group is only a minor part of the movie.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: Wendy's baby is unquestionably large and clean for having just being born via C-section.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Most of the nausea in this film comes in this form. Jules' vomit could be seen in the dancing trophy, though.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted. Skyler is young enough to be Gary's sister and comes across as a bit of a dim bulb, yet she is a genuinely nice person who obviously cares for her stepson and his wife. She does indulge Ramsey's competitiveness with Gary to a point, but it's more from her being The Ditz and not noticing than this trope played straight. When Ramsey crosses a line in front of her, she lets him know in no uncertain terms that she will not tolerate behavior that leads to family disharmony.