Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I'd rather see What to Expect When You're Expecting than Battleship.

I'd imagine I'm one of the few 'geek bloggers' who would rather see What To Expect When You're Expecting more than a number of the 'big summer tentpoles'. Aside from perhaps my advancing age, part of this is that a number of the summer films just-plain don't look very good. Aside from the fact that most of us are film nerds and anticipate the new releases as a matter of course, are any of us all that psyched to see BattleshipMen In Black 3, or Total Recall?  Is there a reason we pretend to be excited about ever bigger would-be blockbusters that all-but flaunt their lack of substance at us like a badge of pride?  At the very least, the Lionsgate adaptation of the classic self-help book for pregnant parents promises to actually be 'about something' and have a certain emphasis on human relationships and what-not.  And, as a participatory father forever irked by a popular culture that presumes that dads don't do jack-shit to help raise their kids ("I'd love to change that diaper, but there's no changing table in the men's restroom."), I am at least somewhat pleased by the recent ad campaign.  Lionsgate knows it has female audiences in the bag already, so as noted in the poster above and the trailer after the jump, it's aggressively pitching to men.  

The emphasis on the comic relief "dudes group" may reek of demographic pandering, but it at least acknowledges that at least some (most?) fathers actually take an active interest in their own children.  But it's not a perfect pitch, as the trailer aggressively sells the whole 'dads are incompetent boobs who can't watch their kids without comedic mishaps' meme that is almost as annoying.  I guess it's a question of being ridiculed versus being ignored.  But point being, whether the film is any good or not, it will surely be more fun to discuss and write about than any number of the would-be 'big summer movies'. The film will offer a chance to see who shines and stumbles amidst the huge cast (Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Chance Crawford, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Brookyln Decker, etc), to point out what it gets right and what it gets wrong about modern parenthood, and to discuss how it works in regards to other romantic ensemble comedies and/or 'chick flicks'.  

Point being, discussions of tentpoles vs 'real movies', the emphasis that news regarding geek-friendly properties receives versus everything else, and the automatic dismissal of most films involving women and/or womens' drama/melodrama aside, What to Expect When You're Expecting just looks more interesting than Total Recall or Men In Black 3.  I can't be the only one who thinks so, right?  Right...?

Scott Mendelson


candicedfrederick said...

ehhhh....this is like worse and worser, but i may just have to go with battleship here (even though i don't plan to see it). neither looks substantial, but at least in battleship you *may* have fun watching it

Heather said...

I'd rather have a fork stuck in my eye than watch What to Expect When You Are Expecting and I'll go see almost anything.

Brandon said...

Eh, can't say i'm on board here. While it attracts me with the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Rob Huebel...

...a movie that contains Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez AND Rodrigo Santoro and a bunch of hit or miss players is absolutely off-putting. I could attempt to stomach just one of that big 3, but all of them leads me to pass on it.


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