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Movie Reviews: 'Hysteria' and 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'

It's ladies night and the feeling's right

Cameron Diaz stars as 'Jules' in WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING.

Cameron Diaz is Jules in 'What to Expect When You're Expecting.' — Photo by Melissa Moseley/Courtesy Lionsgate Publicity

Hysteria is a romp, and all the more fun thanks to the corseted and bustled costumes and the interesting slice-of-history story line. Lionsgate's women's offering is What To Expect When You're Expecting, set, alternatively, in the very present day and inspired by the 1980s runaway best-selling advice book by Heidi Murkoff. Directed by Kirk Jones (Everybody's Fine, Nanny McPhee), the film follows five couples undergoing varied versions of becoming new parents.

Jam-packed with yet another crop of Hollywood A-listers, the cast includes Cameron Diaz playing Jules, a Jillian Michaels-type personal trainer who gets knocked up by her dance partner on a Dancing With the Stars-type show. Her way of dealing with pregnancy is by keeping her exercise routines going, in contrast with Wendy (Elizabeth Banks), owner of a lactation supplies store, who ends up pregnant after years of trying and finds the whole deal — and especially the third trimester — slightly revolting and totally exhausting.

Wendy's ever-supportive husband Gary (Ben Falcone) is over the moon with the impending new arrival until his millionaire retired race-car driver dad (played a little too enthusiastically by Dennis Quaid) one-ups him by announcing that he and his trophy wife (Brooklyn Decker) are expecting twins.

Anna Kendrick, who is always good, plays Rosie, a young food truck chef who finds herself in a family way after a first date. But most endearing of all is Jennifer Lopez as Holly, a photographer who, after a long struggle with infertility, decides to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. A bit intimidated by the notion, her husband Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) joins a father's club — allowing us to meet uber-dad Vic, played by Chris Rock, who offers up the film's funniest moments.

Expecting is by no means a great movie nor a display of terrific acting, but it's funny and charming and totally and completely women's fare. And it's a perfect complement to the slightly more sensible, but also silly, Hysteria.

You may also like: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a love story.

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