It seemed initially like it might be a close competition for which wide release this week -- Battleship or What to Expect When You're Expecting -- would inspire more lazy critic puns. Instead, it was a blowout. ---
What to Expect was the clear favorite when it came to critics employing variations on the film's subject matter or title in their reviews, launched by the one used in the film's TV ads: “The mother of all comedies!” Whitney English, SheKnows.com. In fact, the number that involved some version of "what to expect" threatened to make it a runaway victor for all of 2012.
“Don’t expect much.” – Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting is pretty much what you’d expect.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star
“What to Expect When You're Expecting is what you expect from a movie about pregnancy …” – Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
“Here’s what to expect from What to Expect When You’re Expecting: forced farcical humor, ineptly executed dramatic twists …” – Geoff Berkshire, HitFix.com
“What to expect when you’re expecting to see What to Expect When You’re Expecting: …” – Matt Singer, ScreenCrush
“There’s actually nothing to expect from What to Expect When You’re Expecting …” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
“Don’t expect much …” – Frank Swietek, OneGuysOpinion.com
“What to expect when you're watching: attractive actors playing unrealistic characters, sitcom-y storylines with predictable outcomes and a heavy-handed family-values message. In other words, warmed-over baby formula.” – Matt Stevens, E! Online
“Expect that two hours will feel like nine months, and that before it’s over you’ll be screaming for an epidural to your brain.” – Ann Lewinson, Kansas City Star
“What you don’t expect is how bad almost all of it is. … may be the first movie to actually induce morning sickness.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
Only slightly more creative:
“What To Expect When You’re Expecting is not a great film by any stretchmark of the imagination.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, New England Movies Weekly
“ … primed for a smooth delivery at the box office.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
Battleship, by comparison, generated relatively few grossly obvious nods to the source "material."
“… the sheer fact that it's entertaining at all makes Battleship more of a hit than a miss.” – Jason Zingale, Bullz-Eye.com
“…everything else in this totally improbable adaptation of a board game feels torpedoed.” – Brandon Judell, CultureCatch.com
“Battleship doesn’t sink, really. It just sits there booming endlessly …” – Tom Long, Detroit News
extensive arsenal it has at its disposal, Battleship
fails to hit its target.” – Vicky Roach, The
Herald Sun (Australia)
Special kudos, however, to long-time Quote Whore of the Year contender Pete Hammond of Box Office Magazine, who managed to score Hack Stamps for both of the films in question.
“What to expect from What to Expect When You're Expecting: laughs, heart and a terrific ensemble of actors doing what they do best.”
“… the filmmakers may have overplayed their hand and sunk their own damn Battleship. Game over.”
What to expect from Pete Hammond? That every review will be a "miss".