A fertile imagination
Less than half the actors playing expectant couples in What To Expect When You're Expecting are parents, but that doesn't mean the rest are delivery-room novices.
''For the first baby, my sister had a C-section and she insisted on me being there,'' the film's star, Cameron Diaz, says. ''I was 25 and walked in and thought, 'Why didn't anybody tell me?' There was blood everywhere and my sister's guts and intestines were out on a platter and I was in shock! I was also in there for her second baby,'' she says with a smile. ''That was a vaginal delivery and no man should ever see that, because it's crazy!''
On set, the pregnant characters wore a variety of prosthetic bellies and breasts.
The film stars real-life parents Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Quaid, Ben Falcone and Elizabeth Banks but Golden Globe-nominated Glee actor Matthew Morrison, who plays Diaz's on-screen baby daddy, also had his own unique experience in the delivery room. ''My dad was a midwife and I was about 18 and in high school and it was 'take your kid to work day', so I actually delivered two babies,'' he says, looking surprisingly nonchalant. ''The women didn't really know what was going on because I had a mask on so they only could see my eyes, and my dad told me what to do and as soon as the baby slipped out, he swooped in and took over!''
Baby boom ... Matthew Morrison and Cameron Diaz play expectant couple Evan and Jules.
Inspired by the best-selling pregnancy manual of the same name, What To Expect When You're Expecting is a comedy that follows five couples going through different journeys to have a child. Jules and Evan (Diaz and Morrison) were partnered on a TV dance competition and wound up pregnant when it ended. Holly and Alex (Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro) are planning to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. Wendy and Gary (Banks and Falcone) are dealing with the hormonal reality of pregnancy while Gary tries not to get competitive with his dad Ramsey (Quaid), who is having twins at the same time with his trophy wife Skyler (Brooklyn Decker). Former high-school classmates Rosie and Marco (Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford) have a surprise hook-up that leads to a pregnancy before the first date.
Lopez sits with her female co-stars at a Beverly Hills hotel suite and raves about the source material, written by Heidi Murkoff.
''I remember after having my twins [now aged four] I was in pain from the C-section and not able to hold the babies and I was crying, saying to [then husband] Marc [Anthony], 'The babies don't love me!'
Jennifer Lopez as adoptive mother-to-be Holly.
''Then I open the book and read that on this specific day you get this hormone drop and I realised that's why I'd become such a mess, so it was a very useful tool.''
English director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine, Nanny McPhee), who has three children of his own, acknowledges he was initially sceptical about adapting a pregnancy manual into a romantic comedy. ''I knew it would be tough but I quickly realised that all the things we look for in movies are encountered on the journey of pregnancy,'' he says. ''The three pregnancies I experienced with my wife were filled with the most dramatic, funniest, scariest moments of my life, so that makes for a really exciting subject.''
On set, the pregnant characters wore a variety of prosthetic bellies and breasts, including Diaz, who proudly flaunted hers. ''Matthew Morrison got to see my boobs because they were so awesome I showed everyone,'' she says, giggling.
The film boasts an impressive all-star cast but each couple's storyline was shot separately so actors could juggle other commitments, including Lopez's turn as an American Idol judge and Morrison's filming of Glee. That didn't stop tabloids playing up a reported catfight between Diaz and Lopez, at which both women roll their eyes. ''We've known each other for maybe 20 years,'' Diaz says. ''She's a lovely girl and the truth is I wish we had gotten to shoot together!''
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING
GENRE Romantic comedy.
CRITICAL BUZZ Bad reviews could kill the box-office takings.
STARS Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew Morrison.
DIRECTOR Kirk Jones.