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Expecting DVD review

Michelle Monaghan & Radha Mitchell tackle pregnancy in this comedy-drama.

After years of struggling to conceive with her husband, Lizzie (Radha Mitchell) has given up hope of having a baby. When her best friend Andie (Michelle Monaghan) finds herself pregnant after a one night stand, she offers to have the baby and give it to Lizzie. The couple agree to the plan, on one condition: Andie must move in with them for the duration of the pregnancy. But can the women’s friendship survive this?

Expecting is the debut film from Jessie McCormack. Here she writes and directs a part comed/part real life situation that is directly aimed at females. Males are virtually surplus to the entire storyline. There is a side plot that centres on a male but it isn’t what the film is directing itself towards, instead its main focus is the emotional and physical bond between Lizzie and Andie. This is where the film works its best as both have great chemistry together regardless that they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Lizzie is reserved and rather straight laced, whereas Andie is the swearing and drinking party chick. Banter between them is funny and heartfelt as we travel the pregnancy road with them both and we get to see what each experience does to them. There are flaws in each character and it’s very much like real life. There is a very touching metaphor storyline included about Lizzie’s dog that echoes the age-old saying of a dog is a practise run for having a baby too.

Monaghan is absolutely delicious in this role; she clearly relishes being the sweary loud-mouth female that gets to do whatever she wants. But she manages to turn the character around towards the end of the film and made us care about her, unlike when we are first introduced to Andie. Mitchell is subtle and reserved, only showing emotion in the final third of the film. She balances out the female duo nicely as we didn’t connect too much with her, but she is the reason we are following this story. More could have been done to lighten the character a bit though.

It won’t offer much for those who aren’t into direct storylines, but if you connect with the two leading characters then you are in for an engaging and emotional film that asks a lot of questions about life, love and friendship.

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