I give it 3.5/5. It’s difficult to care about so many characters as much as you would on their own, and while it does cover a range of pregnancy situations – as the title promises – it also felt a bit too much, and some of the interconnectedness felt forced.
The couples and their stories
Marco (Chace Crawford) and Rosie (Anna Kendrick) represent a couple who aren’t a couple who accidentally get pregnant after a night together. (SPOILER) Her being pregnant for five minutes and then losing the baby makes me wonder exactly why this story was included – it’s something that happens, but she doesn’t expect for very long.
Connection to the others: Rosie is Skyler’s cousin (apparently.) She watches Jules and Evan on the dancing competition. She watches Jules’ weight loss show. Marco has a fast food truck that Gary visits.
Ramsay (Dennis Quaid) and Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) represent an older couple – or at least, an older man and his trophy wife. They get pregnant – with twins! – without trying, and have the easiest pregnancy of the group.
Connection to the others: father and stepmother to Gary, and so also connected to his wife Wendy. Skyler gets Holly to do her portrait.
Gary (Ben Falcone) and Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) are the couple who have been trying for years and so, of course, get pregnant when they start giving up. She has just written her first book about breastfeeding and owns a baby supplies store; he is constantly under his competitive father’s shadow. Their pregnancy experience is pretty much the opposite of Ramsay and Skyler’s.
Connection to the others: Wendy has Holly’s brochure in her store. She watches the dancing show. Gary eats at Marco’s fast food truck, and was a contestant on Jules’ weight loss show.
Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are the couple who have used a lot of money trying IVF. They decide to start trying to adopt, which Alex is okay with until they get lucky and are offered a child very quickly – the prompt for him to join the Dude’s Group.
Connection to the others: Holly watches the dancing show. Rosie hears her and Alex singing at karaoke (though no actual interaction.)
Jules (Cameron Diaz) and Evan (Matthew Morrison) are the “celebrity” couple; her with a weight loss show, him on a dancing competition show. They are unmarried and met when she competed on the dancing show, leading to rumours and magazines talking about their (real) relationship. There’s a weak storyline concerning him being half Jewish and wanting their baby circumcised that felt like it was given up on, but it does tell us about their relationship.
Connection to the others: aside from former contestant Gary, they are known because of their shows rather than any actual interaction.
The Dude’s Club
I actually thought this was a promotional thing that had been made up on Twitter and Facebook, but no, it’s in the movie.
While I liked the idea of it – the fathers getting together to talk about their problems, share their secrets, and have some sanctioned friend-time that is never discussed – I think it would have worked better if our five fathers had created it, or been their own group. Which also would have made the couples better connected.
What was the point of so many extra characters, aside from their small amount of wisdom? Fewer could have done it just as well – with four children, Chris Rock could have been the only outsider. Or Craig, the “uncool” one who joins their group because he can’t get in another.
I confess, this style of film, with several different intertwining stories, is not a style I’m fond of – I’m the only person I know who doesn’t like Love Actually.
Personal feelings aside, it’s a nice film, and it gives you what it says it will; five couples going through pregnancy or adoption, from start to finish. And no, there isn’t a “nine months later” title card… in fact, thinking about it, it really just plays out like a rather sped up nine months – and the fact that I had to think about it should be a hint that it isn’t done in a bad way.