Cinema Review: Expecting | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023  


Studio: Tribeca Film
Written and Directed by Jessie McCormack

Dec 10, 2013 Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share

Lizzie (Radha Mitchell) wants nothing more than to have a child. She and husband Peter (Jon Dore) have tried just about everything they can, including multiple failed attempts at in-vitro fertilization. Still, the couple remains childless. The irony, then, is not lost on anyone when Lizzie’s best friend, the wild, free-wheeling and free-loving Andie (Michelle Monaghan), gets pregnant from a one night stand with a guy she doesn’t know. Andie, unable and not wanting to raise a child, decides to let Lizzie and Jon adopt it and spends the next nine months living in their spare bedroom.

Very early into Expecting, Lizzie and Jon attend couple’s therapy. During an argument of prosaic nature – the groceries, the front gate being open – their therapist cuts them off, telling them they’re boring. While a grossly unbelievable moment, it’s also prophetic; perhaps Dr. Grayson isn’t talking so much about Lizzie and Jon’s relationship, but the movie they’re in. Lizzie and Jon never seem compatible as a couple. Andie’s inappropriate laughter and insensitive jokes are far more alienating than endearing. Jon’s post-rehab brother, Casey, joins the mix as perhaps the most sane member of the bunch, but there’s very little engaging about him. The weak characterization combined with tonal inconsistencies, by-the-numbers plot structure, and poor writing, create a film that fails to draw its audience in or to move them.

Jessie McCormack seeks to explore interesting ideas and interpersonal dynamics with his film, but his hand as a writer is visible in almost every single scene. Expecting is more reminiscent of a dull Off-Broadway play than a quirky indie film (though it certainly checks the indie box of throwing people that would never actually interact into a weird, pseudo-family situation). In an example of incredibly apt titling, everything one expects – and nothing one doesn’t – happens.

Author rating: 3/10

Rate this movie


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.