Sunday, January 17, 2010

The What To Expect When They're Making a Movie Contest

Because these days you can make "movies" out of board games and self-help books, surely scary pregnancy advice books were next: A U.S. film version of the pregnancy bible "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is in the works.

No, seriously.

This has inspired me to host my first contest! I can only imagine that the WTEWYE plot will have as much to do with its source material as "He's Just Not That Into You" or the upcoming "Monopoly" movie. Still, you never know! In a comment, post your plot idea for the movie plot that would best represent that timeless classic, "What to Expect When You're Expecting".

Helpful reference materials include What to Expect When You're Not Expecting to Be Sued By Your Doctor (Unnecesarean), and What to Expect When You Didn't Expect to Read The Worst Pregnancy Book Ever (Strollerderby), and their accompanying comments. You can also consult the source - available on every thrift store bookshelf for a buck or so.

The author of the best movie plot, selected by me and my Ouija board (OK, actually just me), will receive a copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth" which definitely ranks above WTEWYE on the helpfulness scale and includes this gem from a mom contributor:

"I mean, must they [pregnancy books] be so alarmist? 'You didn't paint your toenails before you knew you were pregnant, did you? Don't worry - if you're lucky, at least one hemisphere of your baby's brain should still develop normally.' ... And the whole 'best bite' pregnancy diet? Please. 'Is that the very best bite for the baby?' Michael likes to tease when I'm hunched like a criminal over a pack of gummy bears. 'Be sure to indulge yourself at least once a week,' the book advises. 'A fruit yogurt makes a nice treat'. A fruit yogurt! As if. A pound of cookie dough washed down with a quart of half and half - now that makes a nice treat."

Let your imaginations run wild!

24 comments:

Dou-la-la said...

head--->desk

Wendy Martijn said...

Head ----> Keyboard---> Keyboard---> Floor

Utahdoula said...

Well, I don't know plot specifics, but surely it will be a horror movie, right?

Sheridan said...

Wow, this is extremely frightening.

I would LIKE to see a mom preparing with Hypnobabies and being empowered to make the best choices for HER throughout her pregnancy and birth. Going on to have an easy un-medicated birth.

A girl can dream.

Miss Isabelle said...

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" Tagline - We never expected THIS!
Normal couple, normal life, expecting a child, everything smooth (b/c it always is, right?) until a mistake at the hospital sends them home with a dun, dun dunnnnnn, MONKEY. (I'm not sure how, it just happens...) Hilarity ensues and everything works out in the end. Monkey and all.

metal-kage said...

Wow, I can't believe they're going to make a movie out of WTEWYE. That's insane. Is it going to be a horror movie? If they wanted to make it true to the book then they should make the women in the movie suffer from everything that could possibly go wrong during pregnancy go wrong or find out that they ate something they weren't supposed to (according to the book). If they truly follow the book that is going to be a very scary movie.

Jill--Unnecesarean said...

How would you even make that into a comedy like the article says? I'm already yawning.

Casey said...

Wow. Hmmm. I anticipate the plot to be something like an infomercial. There will be pregnant couple and they will start out with WTEWYE. They will try to make decisions, but they will be unable to until they get the book for $19.99. But, wait! There's more!! Not only will they get WTEWYE to increase the mother-to-be's stress levels and the baby's cortisol levels, they will get WTE The first year. Then, they will be horrified by all they will encounter during the first year and all the risks of...well, everything. Not to mention the lack of adequate and accurate nursing information. Finally, if you order in the next 90 minutes, you will get WTE The Toddler years to remind yourself why you never want to have a child again and shouldn't have had one in the first place.

CfM Molly said...

What to Expect When Your Doctor Owns Your Pregnancy.

What to Expect When You Don't Think For Yourself.

Okay, too mean...

AmyBell said...

the movie will be sponsered by the top selling disposible nappy company and a "health" food and baby formula company (starting with Ne...), which will immediatly set up the plot to include the use of these products as esential to your babies survival. loads of images of blissful pregnancy in check ups with poxy hallmark moment music, and they'll show a 'natural birth'- on back, in bed. and a c-s too. but they'll show high level of staff instruction, intervention, and 'reassurance' (oh i mean coersion), they'll do it as a month by month thing, loads of ultrasounds, and finish with a formula feeding of a new bub.

Harley (A Mama's Nirvana Birth Services) said...

My entry... plot 1: You have to go to an OB cuz your baby might die! The woman who thought she knew better than the doctors and wanted to give birth through her vagina.


I posted this in the thread on fb with Unness.

Adrienne said...

Obviously it's going to be a zombie film. Starts off with a well-dressed, prim looking woman at her doctor for her first prenatal visit. He goes over diet with her (straight out of WTEWYE), what she can and absolutely cannot eat. And of course everything bad that will happen if she eats off the DO NOT EAT list. She leaves the office thinking, of course she'll do whatever is best for her baby, but then BAD FOODS start taunting her everywhere so goes. So she starts to break down, and of course, it's all true! Poor pregnancy diet turns her into a zombie by the end of the film. She mindlessly stuffs anything she can find, from sushi to diet coke to, um, hot dogs, into her mouth, while Zombie Baby reaches out through her abdominal wall to try to feed itself good foods.

Anonymous said...

Ok.
Our protagonist is a woman who thinks of herself as a non-conformist. She's been married for a few years, doesn't work, and is antsy staying at home. Her husband is getting kind of freaked out because she seems different than he remembers her as a new bride. She goes for long drives and returns late at night, wide-eyed and silent.

On her birthday, he surprises her at a nice dinner with his gift - the announcement that they can start trying for a baby. She acts ecstatic, although we see some signs that she's privately ambivalent.

Fast forward a few weeks and we see her starting to deal with some morning sickness. She's not happy about the pregnancy - just pissed off about the inconvenience. Unsurprisingly, the dad-to-be is alarmed that getting knocked up hasn't knocked her out of what he thinks is a long-lived funk.

In desperation he goes to the university library and browses until he stumbles on an old, ratty copy of WTEWYE. He jots down a note and leaves. Cut to him handing his wife a nicely wrapped package, containing a bright new copy of WTEWYE (you didn't think he was actually going to hand her that germy old copy, did you?!).

That night, our little mother starts reading. We see dark turn to light as she sits up overnight, reading in a rocking chair (in a muumuu). When dawn breaks, we zoom in for a close up of her face. She has found her focus. Her pregnancy will give meaning to her life! She has something to spend her time on!

The next montage shows her raiding every room in the house, throwing out all plastics, sanitizing, getting rid of all her old unhealty/evil foods, then making trip after trip to Babymart for gizmos and gadgets of all sorts. She curses herself for being over 30 but starts wearing flats and support hose. She puts away her China so that she can "keep her clumsy paws" away from it [that's a real quote!]. She buys the WTE Journal. Bravely, she peruses some pregnancy websites, but of course trusts her OB to know best.

When her husband tells her he's anxious about the birth, she comes up with her own surprise for him: a C-section, scheduled during week 38 on his birthday! As he pulls her into his arms, he sheds a single tear of happiness for how involvement in her pregnancy has changed his stagnant wife's ways. No longer does she mope around, thinking about herSELF. And the baby itself? Why, that's just the icing on the cake.

As they day draws near, she gets happier and happier, counting down. On the actual day of the birth, we see her wheeled into surgery (doors swing closed), then being wheeled back out (doors swing open) ... down the hall to the nursery, where her lovely baby lies fussing. The credits roll as she gives the baby its first bottle.

JMT olyglotpay at gmail . com :-D

Dou-la-la said...

I predict variations upon some if not all of the following elements: Upper middle class white woman as protagonist, possibly with a friend of color (but also an upper middle class one) to deflect criticism. Hilarious scenes will include attempting to follow the Best Odds Diet, mom feeling hapless and bewildered by the registry at Babies R Us, childbirth classes where the instructor is portrayed as a whacked-out hippie, breastfeeding advocates portrayed as shrieking harridans. Finally, we have the birth scenes where the mother tries to "go natural", then begs pitifully for the epidural (and probably then told "Too late!", the message clearly being, you silly naive little thing, you should have just shut up and gotten it when we first offered), scenes of the father rendered useless under pressure and nauseated by some aspect of the birth itself, and, of course, the doctor being the hero who saves the day.

I'm sure the tone will be some combination of "He's Just Not That Into You", "Baby Mama", and "The Exorcist".

Anthro Doula said...

All right I've got one! just in the nick of time :) Sorry if its too long...

The year is 1984. In the middle of the barren Mojave Desert, buried deep underground in a subterranean lair, a group of shadowy figures meet for the last time. Nine people sit around an onyx conference table as a tenth individual looms out from the darkness, carrying a black metallic box.

“Is the product ready?” says a gravelly voice.

“Oh yes,” says the dark figure holding the box, “Quite ready. Allow me to show you.”

The unknown person steps forward into the light, placing the box on the table. He is dressed in simple clothing, but with a white lab coat draping his body. The man pulls rubber gloves onto his hand. He slides the lid off the black box, with dry ice escaping as he does so, and reaches within. He does not hesitate for even a moment as he pulls from inside the box… a book. It looks simple enough. Upon a rocking chair sits a woman wearing a pink smock, serenely reading a book herself. This woman is clearly pregnant, and behind her, in large black letters, read the words What to Expect When Your Expecting.

“Brilliant,” says another voice. “And this will secure our domination?”

“Indeed,” replies the man with the lab coat. “Any woman who even merely touches this book will immediately cast aside any doubts about having a medically… enhanced… birth. Doulas, midwifes, birthing centers… All of that will be torn from their thought. The trick is not in the words or knowledge contained within this book, but rather a simple carbon based polymer psilocybin gloss has been infused with the cover and the pages. Any person who touches this book will instantaneously be induced to believe in it.”

“So simple… so perfect,” says the gravelly voice again. “We will ship these immediately. The obstetricians and doctors need never worry about a possible revolution against medical science ever again. With these books, we shall create an army of pregnant woman hanging on our every word!”

The nine people at the onyx table fill the room with laughter as the man in the lab coat smirks, placing the book back within the metallic box in preparation for mass production.



A few months later, not so many miles away, a woman is browsing her local bookstore, looking for some guidance as the adventure of her first pregnancy begins. She moves down an aisle, rubbing her hands upon the spines of the many books, looking for something that will catch her eye. Her fingers graze upon a yellow colored spine, and stop. The woman’s eyes dilate. She quickly pulls the book from the shelf and hungrily reads the cover. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. She rushes to the counter and purchases it without further thought.

Soon the woman is throwing away most of the food in her house, and telling her partner that she is terrified of giving birth and doesn't want to be awake for it at all. Her partner picks up the book and completely agrees with her. She calls up all of her pregnant friends and tells them to get the book as soon as possible, and to schedule their cesareans now!

OBGYN offices are swamped, hospitals are full to the brim, and soon, across the whole country, there is a backlog of scheduled cesareans.

Yet, back in the desert, buried deep underground, in the subterranean lair, the nine figures maniacally rub their hands together, and laugh mercilessly as their ultimate plan comes to fruition...

Jill--Unnecesarean said...

I think Dou-la-la's plot is probably going to be the actual plot. Piper Perabo can be the protagonist and her BFF is Gabrielle Union. The only thing missing would be incorporating dream sequences of Adrienne's zombies... most likely Piper running around an empty town staring longingly into bakeries and ice cream shops while being followed by a large crowd of zombies in torn white medical coats trying to feed her a fruit yogurt (or half a bagel as a healthy treat.

The Alfe Family said...

See...and I think that I'll take Dou-la-la's post a bit further.

I think it will be a couple of "stars". The main character will be the Modern Med Marvel. This is the woman who will have a hospital birth and do everything that her doctor says. She'll be thrilled that her doctor knows everything and makes her feel completely moronic and idiotic to have ever thought to ask a question. Of course, her pregnancy will end in an "emergency c-section" because her baby would be "too big" (thanks to the wonderful best odds diet). But it is all ok, because her doctor knows everything (of course, the baby will be 6 pounds).

Then, there will be the "natural mom". The goofy, hippy friend who is planning on a homebirth (or a non-hospital birth) who has a pretty smooth pregnancy and tries to have a homebirth, but everything goes wrong and she and her baby die. Because, you know, this is what happens when you don't depend on medical intervention and choose a midwife who doesn't know anything.

But, it will all be ok, because the main character will have a little girl and name her after the dead best friend, and coo to her over a bottle of healthy, organic nestle formula. And the voice-0ver at the end will remind women that allowing your body to do what it was made to do is a big no-no and you could DIE. This is why it is so important to never ask questions and just do whatever your doctor tells you.

Of course, she'll also know someone who is getting their child taken away and sued by the doctor because she asked if a c-section was really the best/only option for her.

*shudder*

Amy said...

A few friends expecting at the same time. Then each can have differences in what makes a delivery from home birth to all out c-section. There is a movie coming out showing different births and then follow the babies for a year from around the world. It looks awesome. Something to that effect, but you know a little more local and focused on the pregnancy and birth.

The Alfe Family said...

See...and I think that I'll take Dou-la-la's post a bit further.

I think it will be a couple of "stars". The main character will be the Modern Med Marvel. This is the woman who will have a hospital birth and do everything that her doctor says. She'll be thrilled that her doctor knows everything and makes her feel completely moronic and idiotic to have ever thought to ask a question. Of course, her pregnancy will end in an "emergency c-section" because her baby would be "too big" (thanks to the wonderful best odds diet). But it is all ok, because her doctor knows everything (of course, the baby will be 6 pounds).

Then, there will be the "natural mom". The goofy, hippy friend who is planning on a homebirth (or a non-hospital birth) who has a pretty smooth pregnancy and tries to have a homebirth, but everything goes wrong and she and her baby die. Because, you know, this is what happens when you don't depend on medical intervention and choose a midwife who doesn't know anything.

But, it will all be ok, because the main character will have a little girl and name her after the dead best friend, and coo to her over a bottle of healthy, organic nestle formula. And the voice-0ver at the end will remind women that allowing your body to do what it was made to do is a big no-no and you could DIE. This is why it is so important to never ask questions and just do whatever your doctor tells you.

Of course, she'll also know someone who is getting their child taken away and sued by the doctor because she asked if a c-section was really the best/only option for her.

*shudder*

Kim said...

Movie Title:
What to Expect When You're Expecting

Sub-Title:
The Domino Effect of Obstetric Intervention

Plot: Woman is coerced into induction by her OB at 37 weeks because Doc is going out of town. Woman agrees to prostagladins overnight and pitocin with AROM in the morning. Woman's Pit induction begins at 6:30am, despite no sleep all night due to nursing interruptions to monitor her vitals. Doc "rounds" at 8am (before going to her office) and breaks her water purposely during the first or many vaginal exams...

... ultimately, the baby is delivered by emergency C-Section after fetal heart tones decel into the 60's and do not recover. (Thank GOD they chose a Hospital delivery!) [tongue in cheek]. Baby is premature and struggles to breath, thus admitted to NICU.

You get the idea...

Patrice Nichole Byers said...

Imagine two top Hollywood executive types in a meeting with the head of a Studio.

Hollywood Exec #1 - What add's more drama to television shows in all genres?

Hollywood Exec #2 - You guessed it baby! A birth! The whole shabang, pregnancy, crazy symptoms, bitchy behavior, water breaking, and if it's a comedy whacky hilarity ensues. If it's a drama, you put the kid at jeopardy, doctor comes and saves the day, drama ensues.

Hollywood Exec #1 - It's Gold Baby!

Hollywood Exec #2 - And like most big budget pictures we don't expect the audience is too bright, I mean who really wants to have to think about stuff?

Hollywood Exec #1 - So what better audience to target than the average pregnant american women, or women thinking of being pregnant, I mean cause let's face it, that's a big demographic right there.

Hollywood Exec #2 - And what better source material than The Bible for pregnant women - What To Expect When You're Expecting?

Hollywood Exec #1 - I know, the title sounds like it should be a Low Budget Sundance Darling, but it's not what you think. The book isn't tailored for women who want do research, or make decisions. It's laid out in the perfect, don't have to think, sit back and enjoy the show Hollywood style. High drama, high anxiety, HIGH Dollars Baby!

Hollywood Exec #2 - We would rename the title - How to shut up, incubate the kid and pop it out - Techno style, but we don't wanna piss off the activist. Not the heat we are looking for!

Hollywood Exec #1 - And the best thing is, in addition to getting the authors of the book to advise the Director, we've contacted this Dr. let's call her A.T. for now, and she is willing to totally advise and consult.

Hollywood Exec # 2- I say we make it Dramady. Comedy and Drama combined, and wrap it all up with a nice tidy little C-section for realism. We are still working out the kinks but we thinks it Gold Baby.

Hollywood Exec #1 - Gold Baby!

Rebecca Lawther said...

I think they should call it "Stepford Moms", the sequal to "Stepford Wives". Pretty much identical plot, but the wives are all pregnant. One elusive homebirther has to be robotosised (yay, i made up a new word!) in order to comply with the holy text, which is WTEWYE.

Kim Mosny, CPM said...

Congrats to the winner!

sabine26 said...

This whole thing depresses me so much my sense of humor and wittiness has flown out the door.

How about this: how about they should tell my birth story?

I started out in the "system" and stayed there until 32 weeks. Everything I knew about birth came from books like this one and stupid movies/TV, and I dutifully saw my OB for prenatal visits. Then, one day, I started asking my boyfriend: why do I need an IV? Why do I have to lay down? Why do I need a continuous monitor for my baby? Why, why, why? He had no answers for me despite being an RN. I started doing more and more reading and looking through peer-reviewed journal articles only to discover that I DID NOT NEED THESE THINGS AT ALL. At 36 weeks, I hired a doula, fired my OB, hired a midwife, labored at home until 7cm, refused an epidural, labored an extra 3 hours because my baby would not move her hands from her face and yet refused a C-section, and had my beautiful, magical baby in a pool in the hospital with the most amazing women in attendance and such a strong and involved partner. It was a life-changing experience. I am appalled on a regular basis how little women know about the choices they have when they are expecting. I have now changed my thesis for my master's degree and am working on comparing rates of common labor interventions between OBs and CNMs, and am seriously considering devoting my public health career to maternal-child issues.

But I started the whole journey with WTEWYE--that's why it's relevant!!