“Unexpected” is that rare movie about pregnancy that recognizes and engages with the reality that it can be a complicated and confusing process.
Directed and co-written by Kris Swanberg, the picture follows the dual unplanned pregnancies of a high school teacher (Cobie Smulders) and one of her favorite students (Gail Bean).
In low-key fashion, Swanberg examines the intense emotions that color the experience, as both women suddenly find themselves faced with a very different future. In the way it presents each character’s evolving understanding of her own body and what the changes represent, the movie brings a welcome measure of realism to what is typically portrayed as an unabashedly joyful event.
Smulders, a strong indie film presence, is utterly authentic. It doubtlessly helped that she was actually pregnant while making this, but she’s funny, sweet and vulnerable, blessed with the sort of approachability that makes you want to take this journey with her. Bean demonstrates similar qualities, while Swanberg finds the drama in small moments without falling back on cliches.