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What I Didn't Expect When She Was Expecting: That Her Pelvis Would Open Up Like the Jaws of Life and Squeeze Out Life

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 6, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 6, 2011 |

The non-fiction bestseller, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, is the second greatest book-selling racket in the publishing industry, behind only The Secret. Ninety percent of all pregnant women buy a copy, and another 79 percent of those same women receive at least one copy from a formerly pregnant friend or relative. And they all glow about how great the book is, because before that, someone gave it to them and glowed about it. It’s like a chain letter that costs $24.95.

Who reads What to Expect When You’re Expecting in its entirety? Nobody. Women just wait for something weird or out of the ordinary to happen during their pregnancy, then they refer to the book’s table of contents, usually under “Gas,” “Baby Stopped Kicking,” or “Strange discharge.” The book will usually say something like, “Don’t sweat it. It’s probably no big deal. UNLESS IT IS, IN WHICH CASE YOU AND YOUR BABY WILL PROBABLY DIE.”

It’s a very alarmist book. It gives pregnant women night terrors. It’s also very good about detailing every tiny little detail that could possibly go wrong during the pregnancy and the labor, and then — after you’ve pissed yourself in terror — downplaying the odds of any of that happening.

So comforting.

The book has been in development as a movie for a couple of years now. I have no idea how that works — it’s a self-help encyclopedia for women full of piss and hormones. There’s no narrative. But there’s a clumsy title with which everyone is familiar! The story apparently follows five couples who suffer the many joys of the childbirth process.” So, basically Valentine’s Day or He’s Just Not That Into You with hysterical pregnancy caricatures bracketed by bullet points from the book. Maybe John Hodgman will narrate.

Anyway, word out today is the Cameron Diaz is attached. According to THR, she will play a woman “in the mold of Jillian Michaels who hosts a weight-loss fitness show.” A pregnant woman hosting a weight-loss fitness show? Those jokes just write themselves, don’t they? Let’s hope so for Shauna Cross’ (Whip It_ sake, as she’s responsible for writing the script. I’m sure Drew Barrymore will eventually follow suit and star in the picture as well. Maybe she’ll play an organic grocer who insists on a natural child birth until she gets into the delivery room and starts screaming for drugs. Hilarious!

Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee) will direct.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.