Ensemble rom-coms like New Year's Eve and He’s Just Not That Into You are having their moment, so can a film about the highs and lows of pregnancy packed full of celebrities join the club and have the last laugh?
This delivers a multitude of red-carpet favourites in a predictable yet heartwarming look at the prospect of morning sickness, raging hormones and, dare I say it, cankles.
The film chops and changes, sometimes too clunkily, between five couples who find themselves staring the challenges of parenthood square in the eye, whether it was part of their life plan or not.
Marco (Chace Crawford) makes a literal schoolboy error when his one night stand with high school pal Rosie (Up In The Air's Anna Kendrick) ends in an unexpected pregnancy.
Meanwhile, Holly (Lopez) spends her days photographing cute-as-a-button babies and her nights planning the next step she and undecided husband (Rodrigo Santoro) must take on the adoption process.
Over there, celebrity dancers Jules and Evan (Diaz and Matthew Morrison) soon realise that taut bodies and top-drawer careers must take second place by the third trimester.
The other two stories bank play up family politics for laughs when Gary Cooper’s (Ben Falcone) elation at finding out wife Wendy’s (Banks) two-year struggle to conceive is finally over is thwarted by his ageing dad’s announcement that he (Quaid) and his 20-something bride Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) are expecting too.
Refreshingly, the rom-com status doesn’t dictate that all five pregnancies follow a positive path and director Kirk Jones tasks some of the characters (props must go to Kendrick particularly) with significantly poignant moments that may well have members of the audience wishing they didn’t relate so well.
That being said, the film has a job to do and laughs are provided, if not as laugh-out-loud as fans of Knocked Up and Baby Mama may be expecting.
The major players deliver comical lines in the way we’ve become accustomed to through their back catalogue of mediocre rom-coms, with Gary’s lifelong inadequacies played out in brilliant one-liner form and Rebel Wilson stealing every scene she appears in as Wendy’s socially inept assistant.
Chris Rock makes an appearance as the leader of “The Dudes”, a foursome of fathers that coach Alex through his fears and concerns about becoming a parent, and it’s the candid advice and comedic blunders of this quartet that provided the only real belly laughs.