Writer and director Jessie McCormack's feature debut Expecting is an honest but frustrating effort. Financially struggling married couple Lizzie (Radha Mitchell) and Peter (Jon Dore) are unable to conceive, but they keep trying even though Peter clearly doesn't want a child; when Lizzie's flighty best friend, Andie (Michelle Monaghan), gets unintentionally pregnant, she offers to let Lizzie and Peter adopt the baby. Complications arise and personalities clash over the ensuing nine months, growing worse when Peter's ex-addict brother Casey (Michael Weston) gets involved. The humor in Expecting is never as sharp as it could be, pulling back and getting sentimental when it might have been both funnier and more truthful by going dark. As Lizzie and Peter's couples' therapist, Mimi Kennedy walks away with the movie, and occasionally speaks for the audience. Her scenes are reminiscent of the recent pitch-black British comedy I Give It a Year -- a film that explores many of the same questions of dysfunctional couples without pulling its punches, and is much funnier to boot. (Though Expecting does have one really good Horatio Alger joke that's unexpected yet seems so obvious it's hard to believe it hasn't been used countless times before.) Expecting isn't bad at all, but we hope McCormack has greater things in her.
Jessie McCormackMichelle Monaghan, Radha Mitchell, Jon Dore, Michael Weston, Mimi Kennedy, Andrew Shea, Sarah AldrichJessie McCormackTribeca Film