What to Expect When You're Expecting Gets a Trailer for the Marginalized-Woman Era

I know we were kinda just talking about this, but at a point in time when women's rights and representation are threatened at seemingly every turn by bureaucrats, ideologues, campaign financiers and bald-faced misogynists, how predictable should it have been that the new trailer for What to Expect When You're Expecting — the best-selling, most influential maternity guide in the known universe — would marginalize the actual mothers and focus almost entirely on the guys? Don't change, Hollywood! Actually, yes. Maybe change just a bit.

In fairness to Lionsgate, the last time the marketing team went full chick-flick, we got a series of posters that had even the bodysnark-averse observers at Jezebel "hypnotized by the Styrofoam lumps they shoved under the stars' shirts." So to Plan B, as in "Boy": What's the worst that can come of enlisting Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Lennon, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro and others to play up the fatherhood side of the equation? On second thought, with the male half of the ensemble mugging and contorting opposite various expressions of hysteria and breaking off one-liners referring to the side of the stroller walk "where happiness goes to die," let's not answer that.

Not to overthink the unthinkable, or unthought-out, or whatever. But with so much cynicism and garish guy-centricity in the air right now, this trailer seems just aloof at best and in appallingly, almost absurdly bad taste at worst. But you tell me?

[via Yahoo!]

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  • On one hand, as a very participatory father of two who is rather annoyed at how media and society basically ignores the dad in terms of raising kids (I'd like to help change that diaper, but sorry, no changing table in the men's bathroom!), it's heartening to see a film that actually shows fathers taking a proactive role in the whole parenting thing. On the other hand, it also plays on the 'dads are incompetent boobs who do horrible things to their kids' meme, which doesn't help the situation much either.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Thanks, Scott. Excellent points. I should have emphasized the proactive-role upside. But you're right; maybe I was just preoccupied with the Hangover-meets-Grown Ups vibe of it all.

    • Shuayb says:

      In South Africa, we have changing tables in the mens bathrooms or specifc changing rooms for families. Maybe something must be done about that so Society doesn't have a leg to stand on.

  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    You may be in danger of actually doing damage to women. It may be that the best even liberal men can do right now, is champion women loudly but be vulnerable to exposure by still strangely surrounding themselves with a male cast: Jon Stewart and Obama are liberals and aggressive women-champions, but both -- rightly -- have been zeroed-in for in private mixing only with the brothers. We stop this, and male liberals even might shortcircuit. They might ratched up their annihilation of Limbaugh types, but after this it might be self-immolation, or even, their own overt women battering (lower class, of course, at first: sensing where we might have to go, we're already doing our best to entrench them as sluts). (We're clearly not in the time to address this, and I'll soon let it go, but boys only come to hate women if they're mistreated and used by their insufficiently loved and respected mothers, their grounding for the rest of their lived lives. It's really just common sense.)

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      I dunno, Movieline HQ is a 4:1 female-male shop. I'm not sitting around "mixing only with the brothers" or paying ladies lip service. All I'm saying -- even keeping in mind Scott's observation about the representation of involved, proactive (albeit doofus) fathers -- is that I don't know how this trailer could be any more tone-deaf.

  • Megan says:

    Let's all take a break from opining on the roles of gender in the 21st century and agree on one thing: This movie will be terrible.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Fair enough!

    • Shuayb says:

      Maybe this film shouldn't be judged to harshly. Its not the best film out there, but which move with an all star cast ever is?

      The basic tenet of the movie is that kids or babies are not as scary as most young people think they are.

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