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What To Expect When You Are Expecting To Just Be Entertained

What To Expect When You Are Expecting To Just Be Entertained

I would say a large majority of parents have had first hand experience, at least, thumbing through Heidi Murkoff’s mega-bestselling manual, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It is arguably the most basic, most common, and most derided parent-to-be book in consistent publication today, as it has been since 1984. Some swear by it, while others swear its best use is as a doorstop or something to pass along to lesser-enlightened beings than yourself – kind of like smallpox. Regardless, the book still sells a ton and has now been made into a major motion picture being delivered to theaters this weekend.

On the same weekend that the Hasbro game Battleship is being transformed into a 3D military carnage festival on screens, it seems like a nice accompaniment to have What to Expect… as a counterpoint to all that death and mayhem. But to be clear, even though What to Expect… is based upon a how-to book, it is not a documentary, it is a big budget Hollywood ensemble comedy with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, and Denis Quaid (to represent the aged of the group). Pregnancy happens, panic sets in, and hilarity ensues.

To be clear, I have yet to see this film, and I promise that as soon as I make it through the 4th edition of the original text, I will be lining up to see the filmic version. So this is not a review of any sort. I will leave the reviewing to those who have seen the film and are far more snarky than myself. Like Eric Hynes of The Village Voice who says of the film:

“But for all the fear and loathing that Murkoff’s bedside text engenders, its journey ends with the beginning of a new life, whereas the movie leaves you hoping for a swift end to your own.”

But he is just one guy, and probably not quite the target market for such a film. While I am sure this filmic adaptation will not outdo the muscle of Battleship in the box office, it will probably rake in more money than any other movie adaptation of a pregnancy guide, and hopefully entertain (rather than instill panic) of the few that elect to see it.

What is your feeling about What to Expect…? Were you a fan of the book? Where did it go wrong? Is it unfairly maligned? Do you have hopes that the movie will be any better?

Read more: Babies, Blogs, Caregiving, Family, Love, Parenting at the Crossroads, Pregnancy, Relationships, Women's Health, ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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7:27PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012


7:34AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

interesting ~ thanks for posting

3:29AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

People need to chillax! I know you dont want kids, I dont want kids either, but you cant completely take that away from others; some people just cant help it. Maybe we should teach them to have less kids, as its more about quality than quantity, but 0 kids? For everyone? No, thats too unrealistic and loco!

8:34AM PDT on May 28, 2012

I hope it does something to couterbalance the horrible image hollywood has given birth. It is frightening to first-time mothers. Given that the actors are insensive enough to wear fur, it may be more panicky high-pitched screeching and running around calling for "experts" to save the day.

12:46AM PDT on May 25, 2012

thanks for sharing

7:00AM PDT on May 23, 2012


3:11AM PDT on May 23, 2012


3:21PM PDT on May 22, 2012


9:16AM PDT on May 22, 2012

The only reason I might watch it is to see how they pulled it off

5:18AM PDT on May 21, 2012

I don't think I'll be doing that. I read that book and followed that guideline about reclining while resting and in childbirth I ended up with a backache in my upper back that was as intense as contractions and constant. When I told my midwife she was horrified and said I could have damaged my back permanently doing that. The yoga books were right. And really? You're supposed to be cooking casseroles in early labor? Really? Or lying down taking a panadol? If that book is maligned it very much deserves to be.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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I've never listened to these. Listen to your body. What does you body tell you? If you are in relati…

thanks for sharing, wish I could be happier here at my work but dislike my co workers :(

awesome. Vegan is cool

The golden rule.


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