What to Expect When You're Expecting (film)

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kirk Jones
Produced by Mike Medavoy
Arnold Messer
David Thwaites
Screenplay by Shauna Cross
Heather Hach
Based on What to Expect When You're Expecting
by Heidi Murkoff
Starring Cameron Diaz
Jennifer Lopez
Elizabeth Banks
Chace Crawford
Brooklyn Decker
Anna Kendrick
Matthew Morrison
Dennis Quaid
Chris Rock
Rodrigo Santoro
Cheryl Cole
Rebel Wilson
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Xavier Pérez Grobet
Edited by Michael Berenbaum
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • May 18, 2012 (2012-05-18)
Running time
110 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $84.4 million[2]

What to Expect When You're Expecting is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film that follows the lives of five interconnected couples as they experience the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and realize that no matter what you plan for, life does not always deliver what is expected. It was distributed by Lionsgate, produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer and David Thwaites, co-produced by Alcon Entertainment, Phoenix Pictures, What to Expect Productions and Georgia Public, edited by Michael Berenbaum, directed by Kirk Jones from a screenplay by Shauna Cross and Heather Hach with music by Mark Mothersbaugh and based on the pregnancy guide of the same name by Heidi Murkoff. The film stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro. The film was theatrically released on May 18, 2012 by Lionsgate.[3] The film earned $84.4 million on a $40 million budget. The film was rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements and language. What to Expect When You're Expecting was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 11, 2012 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.


Set in Atlanta,[4] the film opens with fitness trainer Jules Baxter (Cameron Diaz) and her dance partner Evan Webber (Matthew Morrison) performing on the TV show Celebrity Dance Factor. They are crowned the winners of the show, but Jules vomits in their trophy, discovering that she is pregnant. Jules struggles when trying to balance her pregnancy with her normal active life. She has an ongoing argument with Evan over whether or not to have their son circumcised. During labor, she chooses not to have an epidural. She gives birth to a girl called Emerson, meaning their debate doesn't matter anymore. After giving birth, Jules and Evan get engaged.

Photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez) can't conceive children, and decides to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband Alex (Rodrigo Santoro). They decide to buy a new house for the baby. Holly sends Alex to hang out with the "dudes group", a group of fathers who walk around the park and support one another, which was founded by Vic Mac (Chris Rock). Alex feels even more nervous to become a father. Holly loses her job and becomes hurt when she realizes how much Alex is unprepared for a child. However, they eventually go to Ethiopia and adopt a baby boy named Kaleb.

Wendy Cooper (Elizabeth Banks) runs a breast feeding boutique called The Breast Choice, and has been trying to have a baby with her husband Gary (Ben Falcone) for two years. She eventually does conceive and shares the news with Gary after taking five pregnancy tests. Wendy, who had planned her pregnancy which would be magical and happy, felt awful throughout it. During a convention she was chosen to speak at about the miracle of childbirth, she begins to break down and bursts out into a speech about how much the process sucks. Her outburst is filmed and becomes a viral hit on YouTube. Her boutique is flooded with customers afterward. After many labor-inducing activities, she goes to the hospital only to find out that she has to have a cesarean section, against the birth plan she typed. After giving birth, she loses a large amount of blood but is okay, giving birth to a boy named Theo.

Ramsey Cooper (Dennis Quaid), a famous race car driver and Gary's father, is married to a younger woman named Skyler (Brooklyn Decker). During a lunch where Wendy and Gary announce her pregnancy, Ramsey and Skyler also announce that they are expecting. Unlike Wendy, Skyler cruises through her pregnancy without issues. She becomes the envy of Wendy, who begins to detest her ease. However, soon after Skyler gives birth to twin girls, she and Ramsey are shown struggling with the fussy babies.

Skyler's cousin, Rosie Brennan (Anna Kendrick), meets an old high school friend named Marco (Chace Crawford) who she thinks is a player. They have sex once, resulting in a pregnancy. Worried at first, they eventually adjust to the idea of becoming parents and move in together. However, Rosie discovers that she is bleeding one night, and drives to the hospital with Marco. They find out that she miscarried. Devastated, Rosie tells Marco to leave, which he does. However, they eventually get back together and decide to take things slowly.

At different points in the film, certain characters meet others. Ramsey is Gary's father, and Gary was on Jules' weight loss program. Skyler is Rosie's cousin, and Holly is Wendy and Skyler's photographer.




Director Kirk Jones and producer Mike Medavoy at the film’s premiere.

Written by Heidi Murkoff, What to Expect When You're Expecting is a pregnancy guide released in 1984. It is a top-selling book on The New York Times Best Seller list[21] and is considered one of the most influential books of the past twenty-five years.[22] Additionally, it was dubbed "the bible of American pregnancy" and has sold over 20 million units worldwide.[23] On January 14, 2010, it was announced that Lionsgate had acquired the book's worldwide distribution rights from Phoenix Pictures. Heather Hach, who was nine months pregnant at the time, was hired to write the film's screenplay "based on her pitch", which would follow the story of seven couples who experience the "ups and downs" of preparing for parenthood.[24][25][26] David Thwaites produced it alongside Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer. Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate's President of Motion Picture Productions, said the book is "a brand that knows no boundaries" and they were "excited about this film as the first in a potential franchise". Murkoff said she was excited to see Phoenix Pictures and Lionsgate "bring my baby to life". Medavoy, Messer and Thwaites felt that the book provides the "perfect launching point" to tell a funny story.[24]


Kirk Jones directed the film.[8] Jones hadn't read or heard about the book, and assumed it was a novel before receiving the script. However, he then discovered that it was in fact a pregnancy guide. Although puzzled at first, he recalled his pregnancy experience as "funny, tragic, exciting" and "hilarious", and thought combining these elements would make for a "really interesting" film.[27] Speaking about the film's theme, he stated that "everybody's experience is different" and multiple different stories "allow the audience to share in everything that is going on" and "by sharing in what's going on and seeing so many characters, there's this energy, and there's humor and there's drama in comparing all of the stories, which are taking place at the same time".[28] What to Expect When You're Expecting stars an ensemble cast, which focuses primarily on the five couples who are going to be first-time parents.[29] According to Access Atlanta, the project also needed "a lot of extras who are in the family way" as well as "babies with star potential". An open casting call was held on July 9, 2011. Casting director Christopher Gray said at the time, "We need a lot of pregnant women. We want the real deal". The movie also featured a number of Ethiopians, for which a casting call was issued as well.[29] Additionally, film contains cameos by various celebrities. This includes Dwyane Wade, Whitney Port,[16] Megan Mullally,[30] and Cheryl Cole, Taboo and Tyce Diorio, who star as themselves as judges on a TV dance talent show.[17]


The film began principal photography in Atlanta on July 19, 2011.[31] On July 26, production filmed in Midtown on Peachtree Street near High Museum and in Piedmont Park.[32] Jones said it was "tough" organizing schedules because of the number of cast members there were.[27] Having never "shot five simultaneous stories like this", he stated: "Through necessity we had to schedule the film so that I shot everything with Jennifer Lopez in two weeks, everything with Cameron Diaz in two weeks ... because they are not available to keep flying in from another continent for two days work and then flying back again".[28]


Mark Mothersbaugh scored the music for the film and on its soundtrack.

The film's score was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh. The soundtrack also contains “Dance (Disco Heat)” performed by Sylvester, “Nobody” performed by Ne-Yo, “Shivas Regal (Theme For Gypsy)” performed by Sonny Lester & His Orchestra, “Oye Como Va” performed by Kinky, “Happening” performed by Chiddy Bang, “Kellerman's Anthem” performed by Emile Bergstein Chorale, “Get Me Golden” performed by Terraplane Sun, “Home” performed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Don't Let Your Feet Touch Ground” performed by Ash Koley, “Weightless” performed by Natasha Bedingfield, “Forever Love” performed by Alex Ebert, “Hypnotize” performed by The Notorious B.I.G., “Comin' Home Baby” performed by Mel Tormé, “Forgetting” performed by David Gray, “Never Gonna Stop” performed by The So Manys, “Inside Out” performed by Nire' AllDai, “Waiting On The Light To Change” performed by Matthew Perryman Jones, “Addicted To Love” performed by Robert Palmer, “Modern Art” performed by Black Lips, “Don't You Want Me” performed by Phil Oakey, Philip Adrian Wright and Jo Callis, “Do What You Want” performed by Daphne Willis, “Broken Sky” performed by Rob Laufer, “Why Don't We Get Drunk” performed by Jimmy Buffett, “Put Your Hands Up” performed by The MIDI Mafia, “Samba Vocalizado” performed by Luciano Perrone, “Get It Daddy” performed by Sleeper Agent, “Now Is The Start” performed by Alison Sudol, “The Hormone Song” performed by Elizabeth Banks and “Big Poppa” performed by Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, Chris Jasper and The Notorious B.I.G..


The film was a moderate success. Released across 3,021 theaters on May 18, 2012,[3] it closed on August 2, 2012.[33]

Home media

What to Expect When You're Expecting was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 11, 2012 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.


Box office

What to Expect When You're Expecting debuted at No. 5 at the U.S. Box Office, grossing $10,547,068 during its opening weekend. By the end of May, the film grossed $26,293,359 in the United States. In total, What to Expect When You're Expecting grossed $41.2 million domestically, for a worldwide gross of $84.4 million.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 22%, based on 132 reviews, with the site's critical consensus reading, "The cast is stocked with likable performers, but What to Expect When You're Expecting is too disjointed -- and too reliant on stock rom-com cliches -- to live up to its distinguished literary namesake."[34] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 41 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Cara Nash of the Australian film magazine Filmink gave the film a mixed review, criticizing the storyline as not having "complexity" or "genuine conflict", but praised Lopez and Banks who "manage to find the humanity in their clichéd roles but they can't transcend all the surface-level schmaltz on display here".[35] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a negative review, stating that "the movie itself triggered the vomiting", but appreciated Rock, Kendrick and Chase's performances "if you dramatically drop your expectations".[36] Simon Miraudo of Quickflix called it "ill-conceived" and gave the film a mixed review while stating: "Despite an immensely appealing cast and a few funny moments, I would only recommend What to Expect at a 'push'. The eggs are there; someone just forgot to fertilise them."[37] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times among other critics noted the confusion of the swiftly moving film, writing that "Rather than the engaging enlightenment of the source, the film becomes bloated by confusion."[38][39] New York Daily News gave the film 3 and a half stars, writing "Thankfully the film, unlike being a parent, is a fairly smooth and entertaining ride that has a universal appeal to both parents and those who ever had a father or a mother", and named the scene in which Jennifer Lopez's character travels to Ethiopia to meet the child she is adopting as the film's most touching moment.[40] The Guardian's Mike McCahill described the movie as "insight-deficient fluff".[41]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
ALMA Awards Favorite Movie Actor Rodrigo Santoro Nominated[42]
Favorite Movie Actress Comedy/Musical Cameron Diaz Nominated[42]
Favorite Movie Actress Comedy/Musical Jennifer Lopez Nominated[42]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Comedy Nominated[43]
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Chris Rock Nominated[43]
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy Cameron Diaz Nominated[43]
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy Jennifer Lopez Nominated[43]
Choice Movie: Breakout Joe Manganiello Nominated[44]
Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer Chace Crawford Nominated[44]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Movie Nominated[45]
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Cameron Diaz Nominated[45]
Razzie Awards Worst Supporting Actress Brooklyn Decker Nominated[46]
Worst Supporting Actress Jennifer Lopez Nominated[46]
Premios Juventud She Steals the Show Won


Soundtrack list


  1. "Alcon Entertainment Expands Film Output: Becomes Passive Financiers In Lionsgate Film." Deadline.com (November 10, 2011)
  2. 1 2 "What to Expect When You're Expecting". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
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  14. Murphy, Shaunna (July 11, 2011). "'Bridesmaids' scene-stealer Rebel Wilson joins 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
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  24. 1 2 "Lionsgate the Proud Parent of What to Expect When You're Expecting". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. January 14, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  25. Tezer, Adnan (January 15, 2010). "Lionsgate is 'Expecting'". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  26. "Lionsgate(R) Becomes Proud Parent to What to Expect When You're Expecting". Newswire,. January 14, 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
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  28. 1 2 Eisenberg, Eric (May 17, 2012). "What To Expect When You're Expecting Director Kirk Jones Talks Taking It One Step At A Time". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  29. 1 2 Brett, Jennifer (July 5, 2011). "Cameron Diaz-Jennifer Lopez movie needs babies, pregnant women". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  30. Sneider, Jeff (August 12, 2011). "Offerman, Mullally join 'Gay Dude' cast". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  31. Brett, Jennifer (July 20, 2011). "J-Lo/Cameron Diaz movie starts filming, "Three Stooges" winds down". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
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  38. Sharkey, Betsy (May 18, 2012). "Review: Expect little from 'What to Expect'". Los Angeles Times.
  39. http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-20120517
  40. "Expect fun in 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' (IANS Movie Review) - NY Daily News". Daily News. New York.
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External links

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