Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond

Mamas on Bedrest: “Expecting”-A Film Review

November 25th, 2013

Expecting_final-300x445‘Expecting’ delves into the lives of two best friends, and how an unborn child influences their relationship.

This is the “quick description” of the film by Tribeca Films. The full description would be (In my opinion),

Expecting is a film about two friends, BFF’s, in a very unbalanced relationship. Andie is a complete and utter airhead. Some would call her a free spirit, but she moves about aimlessly, acts impulsively and turns to her tried and true, steadfast friend Lizzie to haul her fat out of the fire whenever she gets herself into one of her many jams.

Lizzie is everybody’s friend. She goes out of her way to smooth the waters, making everyone feel comfortable-except for herself. Married to Peter, a struggling real estate agent in L.A., all Lizzie really wants is to have a family. Unfortunately, she is unable to get pregnant-even after multiple cycles of IVF. 

When Andie becomes pregnant after a one night stand, she offers to give the baby to Lizzie and Peter to raise. This begins the complicated downward spiral of not only this friendship, but Lizzie’s world. Trying to keep the peace between Andie and Peter after Andie moves into her home for the pregnancy, Lizzie does all she can to make everyone happy-except for herself and pays a tremendous price for her efforts. 

This was a difficult film for me to watch. As a former health care practitioner, someone who once worked in a fertility clinic (Yes, I was a sperm counter!!), and a mother of 2 children I immediately saw the complications that would arise from this “arrangement”. Fertility is a tricky situation and a woman’s desire to have a child will drive her to do all sorts of things. I think the film showed this side of Lizzie fantastically. There are all sorts of ethical, legal, emotional and moral considerations that must be considered when a ‘surrogate’ situation is undertaken and I think the film completely missed this aspect. (Or purposely ignored them to make the magnitude of the situation greater!) Perhaps the film sought to show that the friends believed that their friendship would surmount everything. But for me, because of my background, I found this stance ridiculous and that made the movie somewhat unbelievable for me. I found it hard to believe that at no point while considering this arrangement, one of the “adults” involved didn’t say,

“Okay, let’s get some professional advice here and see how to do this.”

Lizzie and Peter had been in counseling and yet, they didn’t even think to bring this up! (But their dysfunctional relationship had issues that also contributed to the mess of this dilemma.)

So while I found the story somewhat unbelievable (remember my perspective, though), I did like the cinematography. The views of LA and the filming were excellent. I also think that whoever did casting did a fantastic job. I thought each character was perfectly cast and each actor/actress did a great job bringing their character to life in a believable way.

Expecting is an acceptable film, a “chick flick” as some would call it. If you are looking for something lighthearted and entertaining, this will work. But if you are looking or something more substantive, especially dealing with the nuances of friendship and fertility, you might be a bit disappointed