This post was originally published on January 26, 2012. The movie comes out today, May 18. And my friend Rose del Rio altered me to the fact that the posters for the movie that give us the guys’ point of view include the tagline, “It’s Too Late to Pull Out Now.” You can see a part of it behind Chase Crawford’s beautiful head (this image is from the movie premiere):
WTEWYE, your movie posters are the worst. I’m going to assume this bullshit gender essentializing and this desire to play off old and tired tropes about men and women around the topic of pregnancy and child rearing plagues your movie, too.
UPDATE: Carlos del Rio has sent me the full poster with the “It’s Too Late to Pull Out Now” nice and big and bright above the picture of the dudes with all the babies:
UPDATE #2: SS sent me this Movieline article: The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. As SS wrote me, “Glad to see no one’s buying this crap (although too many reviewers were offended the film wasn’t funny (Being offended: ur doing it wrong)).”
If you’re surprised the movie is crappy, raise your hand! Anybody??
Signs continue to emerge suggesting that What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a real movie with real stars and a very real prospect of opening theatrically…. The latest indication: Character posters! It’s like The Avengers of maternity anthologies! If, that is, the Avengers labored superhumanly on behalf of the beleaguered population of Cringe City.
Who’s got it worse? It’s a tough call, right? I mean, I feel worst for Anna Kendrick, but Elizabeth Banks wields arguably the least convincing baby bump in modern moviegoing. And Cameron Diaz. That face! That posture!
Here are the posters (also available at movieline):
The pictures are bad enough (back to them in a second) but the quotes are atrocious:
- “I’m calling bull$#!%. Pregnancy sucks.”
- “I can’t wait to meet my baby.”
- “I just have all this extra energy. Plus I’m like crazy horny.”
- “You pee on a stick. It’s pretty idiot proof.”
- “If I knew I’d have a rack like this, I would’ve gotten knocked up years ago.”
These statements make me embarrassed to have ever been pregnant.
I know nothing about the book the movie is based on except that it is famous. I did not use it while I was pregnant and I’m not sure I have ever read it. But when I posted the movieline article on Facebook, my doula (who is as kick ass as human beings come) said “That became a client screening method for me. If that was their favorite resource, we probably weren’t going to click. To be honest, it does have some good info, but you have to wade through so much other junk that I’d rather read something else.”
Other friends on Facebook told me it wasn’t useful. Misty Clifton told me on Twitter that “I hated that book. So much so, I harbor residual loathing several years later, lol. I am definitely not seeing that movie.”@KushielsMoon said, “”What to Expect” is actually one of the worse pregnancy books. It’s condescending and anxiety inducing.” And @rachelcooks followed up with “It’s like, “Here are many details of a rare but horrible side effect of sth inconspicuous. But don’t worry about it!!”” Misty also said, “”Month Four: Your baby is developing ears…AND IT MIGHT BE DEAF!!!! Be sure to follow this routine and diet OR ELSE.”
Anyhow, let’s just go through and categorize what is wrong with these posters:
1) These are stick figure women with fake baby bumps strapped to them. Even Decker, who appears to be in her last month of pregnancy, is not at all bloated, no red face, no pimples. Nope. She’s just horny with lots of energy!
@KnittingRad‘s response to these picture: “why does Brooklyn Decker have a goddamn basketball stuffed under her shirt?” And @biscuitzombie said: “Brooklyn Decker looks like she is literally smuggling a soccer ball under her dress.”
My currently pregnant friend, KH, told me: “I totally look like that…oh wait, I look like a houseboat.”
2) As @biscuitzombie said: “Also, all the photoshopping and soft angles and smiles, my goodness. Pregnancy must only be a good thing with no side effects!”
My friend, RDR said on FB, “What I want to know is, will this movie address all bizarre things that happen to one’s body? I’m guessing there will be no discussion of ‘good gawd, why do I have so much snot all of a sudden,’ or ‘surprise, colostrum!’”
3) Of these five women, the only one that doesn’t have the baby bump here is the only woman who has actually been pregnant.
4) The hands underneath the stomach. When I posted this complaint on Twitter, my friends said:
- @biscuitzombie: “Well, yeah. It’s the ol’ “Look at me I am but a baby factory” move. Draws attention from anything else.”
- @catvoncat: “I think it is meant to convey, “No, no, I’m not fat! I’m just pregnant!””
- @KushielsMoon: “Well yes, otherwise you might mistake them for fat, & we all know women are completely afraid of being mistaken for fat.”
Now we all know. The hand under the pregnant belly is the universal sign for “I’m PREGNANT. NOT fat.”
5) These look like the covers for “Cosmo: Pregnant Edition.” Diaz’s face next to “Look at my awesome rack!” is best example.
I’m going to go ahead and judge this movie based on these ridiculously terrible, terrible posters. Therefore, as I said on Twitter, I plan on seeing this movie as many times as I saw The Help. And as @snipy said in reply, “can you see something negative times?” If only.
FINALLY, my wonderful friend @iwriteplays (Laura Birek) is a funny, masterful photoshopper. On FB, she said, “WE NEED TO MAKE PARODY POSTERS OF THIS NOW. PREGNANT LADIES, PLEASE HELP!” I posted that on Twitter and @biscuitzombie said, “Get ladies to shove basketballs under their clothes and pose with vapid smiles, throw on some garbage quote?” I put that suggestion back on FB and Laura’s response was, “”Nobody ever told me how uncomfortable this basketball would be under my shirt.” What to expect when you’re fake-expecting.” I told her that ALL parodies should then end in “And I’m crazy horny!”
The end result, my friends (as created by Laura):
Also, don’t go see this movie. And if you do, NEVER tell me about it.
Text submitted by MG, my doula. Pic by Laura:
Text provided by me and Mr. Scatx, pic by Laura:
[We are going to do away with “crazy” in future parody posters athttp://whattoexpectforreal.tumblr.com/ because it is ableist. It is here in these because they are mocking the original, albeit, ableist language of the WTEWYAE posters.]