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Unexpected

Unexpected

No one is ever really prepared.Jul. 24, 2015 USA90 Min.R
Your rating: 0
8.5 1,187 votes

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An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.

Unexpected
Unexpected
Unexpected
Unexpected
Original titleUnexpected
IMDb Rating5.7 2,557 votes
TMDb Rating5.8 33 votes

(8) comments

  • stinadianneJuly 29, 2015Reply

    Unexpected is the rocky start to a beautiful friendship.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Steve PulaskiAugust 4, 2015Reply

    Same circumstance, different experiences

    Unexpected is precisely the kind of film one well-acquainted with the
    mumblecore subgenre in film would expect Kris Swanberg, the wife of
    director/writer/producer/actor/do-it-all-man Joe Swanberg would make,
    and that’s by no means a bad thing. Her husband has made a career
    making no-budget films revolving around millennials grappling with
    happiness, personal enrichment, existential dread, technology, sexual
    angst, sexual tension, and relationships, and here, in her third
    feature, following two decidedly smaller efforts, Unexpected tackles a
    story of two people going through the same tribulation/blessing and
    finding themselves seeing different experiences.

    We focus on Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders), a young teacher at an
    underfunded public school in Chicago that will see its doors close
    following this school year. Samantha, being one of the only white
    teachers in the largely urban school, does something few of her peers
    seem to do, which is encourage her students to apply for college, even
    going as far as to sit with them individually while they apply and work
    out possible financial aid opportunities. One day, however, Samantha
    discovers she is pregnant with her boyfriend John (Anders Holm).
    Samantha doesn’t know how this will effect her future, especially when
    she has John declaring she can take a year or two off of work to raise
    the kid while he’ll float the family with his income.

    However, this idea doesn’t sit well with Samantha largely because she
    doesn’t want to be a mother and have everything else come second. Yet,
    despite this, Samantha impulsively marries John, holding a brief
    service with no family, much to the dismay of her mother (Elizabeth
    McGovern), who feels she’s going about this pregnancy in a backhanded
    way. Even though Samantha and John seem to be at opposing ends
    throughout this whole process, Samantha finds comfortable empathy and
    friendship in Jasmine (Gail Bean), one of her students, a high school
    senior, who is also pregnant by her current boyfriend. Jasmine lives
    with her grandmother, and while she does want to go to college, the
    lofty pricetag that comes with and the potential of not being there for
    her child are budding factors that always cross her mind.

    Unexpected deals with how the same sort of circumstance can provide for
    different experiences depending on a variety of factors. Both Jasmine
    and Samantha aren’t wholly far in age (she’s about eighteen, she’s
    maybe in her early-thirties), but their racial divide is clearly
    present, especially when considering colleges to apply to and having to
    work around Jasmine’s tumultuous homelife in order to make college a
    reality. If nothing else, Swanberg effectively shows us the idea that
    every kid should go to college isn’t a bad idea, in theory, but in
    practice, without taking into account different financial and stability
    situations, is a very messy ordeal.

    Swanberg keeps the pregnancy jokes down to a minimum, pleasantly so;
    only one scene involving Cheetos and pickle-juice will evoke some form
    of nauseousness, while the remainder of the film is helmed by strong
    conversations between Samantha and Jasmine, or Samantha and John, as we
    see one relationship brew and a marriage that should’ve never been
    slowly divulge into arguments. This is also, somewhat unsurprisingly
    so, a story of trying to find your personal identity amidst a change
    that will potentially make your life come second to the life of a
    child. The recurring theme in many of these newer independent films is
    trying to find some comfort in one’s self, and Unexpected shows that by
    having Samantha’s boyfriend trying to dictate what she will do and how
    she will live her life following a baby. She doesn’t want the next ten
    years already laid out before her and she definitely doesn’t want them
    meticulously mapped out by someone who isn’t her.

    At Unexpected’s core are its performances and dialog, and Smulders
    proves that’s she’s more than a background character in Agents of
    S.H.I.E.L.D., in addition to Bean, who has serious acting talent, with
    an ability to be emotional without being too obvious in her feelings.
    This is a film that really shows how something widely regarded as a
    blessing can be a setback or a difficult thing to manage, in addition
    to being a circumstance that prompts many different experiences
    depending on you, your social class, and your race. It’s a uniformly
    solid film about very few people have probably seen taken with such a
    reserved tenderness despite being such a hot topic of discussion.

    Starring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean, Anders Holm, and Elizabeth
    McGovern. Directed by: Kris Swanberg.

  • machenewsgroupAugust 7, 2015Reply

    Naive film.

    As a twice married, still fairly young man with three children whom
    were made very much on purpose – this film annoyed me by its naive:
    ”Duh, how did I get pregnant?” tone. ”Unexpected” pregnancies are
    probably the only subject I will sign up to a website for just for the
    purpose of commenting. Please publish my review of the main theme of
    the film, it is so important that the simple message I will put across
    is understood by younger people as it seems sex education is failing if
    this film is anything to go by. This film is misleading about ”how”
    people get pregnant.

    There is a line at 17:58 that made my face contort like I’d just eaten
    a lemon and I began to fizzle and pop. On hearing about a student’s
    pregnancy a teacher says: ”I just don’t understand how these girls get
    themselves into these situations? It’s like they want to get pregnant.”

    She doesn’t understand? Wow. The main character didn’t seem to
    understand either and seems genuinely surprised that she is pregnant.

    In her mid-30’s, she’s only been having periods for at least the last
    twenty years of her life and should by now have some clue as to what
    causes pregnancies. The answer is ”boys/men”. There is no such thing as
    an ”accident”. Too much emphasis is placed on condoms preventing
    pregnancy. A condom’s main function is to guard against disease passed
    on through blood which you should absolutely use if you are unsure
    about a partner’s sexual past or have only just met. The ”didn’t have a
    condom” excuse is not an excuse. If you are in a long term relationship
    and it is quite obvious they don’t have any infections, even if a
    condom is not available, there is still no reason at all for a girl to
    become pregnant. Pre-ejaculate does not contain sperm – it is nearly
    the same as the fluid secreted by a females Skene’s glands when she is
    aroused. To get pregnant, a woman has only about a 24-hour window of
    opportunity in the month! You count 14 days from the FIRST DAY of a
    girl’s LAST period. That is the time an egg is there waiting to be
    fertilized. That seems incredible that so many ”accidents” occur. It
    isn’t. Young people are seeing each other very often and quite quickly!
    That means a near-constant supply of semen against the cervix (opening
    to the womb). As sperm can live a few days, just so easy!. What needs
    to be hammered into people’s minds (and the main character in this film
    apparently), is to NOT allow the male partner to ejaculate inside the
    vagina. If you are going to have sex, boys please know you must finish
    ”outside” and girls, for goodness sake don’t allow him to ejaculate
    inside. It is YOUR body and your right to demand he doesn’t. The
    hundreds of times I had sex with my first wife and second wife I always
    used this simple method and NEVER ONCE did we have any scares. The
    times I made my gorgeous three kids was with permission and mutual
    consent and we became pregnant and it was a joy! Follow this simple
    rule and you can enjoy a full sex life but remain in education/work,
    without needing to go to the school toilet and sit on it and act
    ”surprised” and say the F-word. 😉

  • kwhitehead-34671September 21, 2015Reply

    Story that has a point even if through different eyes…

    To be honest i went straight past this movie as looking a bit ”boring”
    (and yes im a woman) But hubby decided to pick it. I’m glad he did now
    in hindsight.

    It gives a really touching account, if thats the right word to use,
    perspective from the eyes of different people and different
    circumstances in life and how they rationalize and reason. Maybe it was
    prettied over in parts but that was at the director/producers doing. I
    think its main objective is not to be deeply depressing or harsh on
    matters that have been done often, this sits middle of the road as to
    not offend people on either side of judgements and for that i commend
    it. I can not stand movies that are so far off base because of the film
    makers motives or opinions. It’s a talent to stay neutral and do it
    well for character and plot development.

    This is a movie you might only watch once but i think anyone could
    learn or take something away from it about people and life in general.

  • niutta-enricoOctober 15, 2015Reply

    Unexpected: …a little bit boring.

    This film has a lot of realism and is really well acted. Black girl and
    black community (so loud, so big) compared with white ones (so small,
    so unsteady) were the most interesting things to me, living so far from
    Illinois. But besides that I appreciated many details and even though I
    can’t say that I enjoyed the film, Authors’ talent is out of
    discussion.

    The story, however, was not catching and sometimes the two girls
    reminded me of two blind lemmings working their way through life, love
    and maternity.

    Simple things made complicated are not entertaining. And one thing
    lacks more than any other: fun. Real people make jokes, real people
    laugh: Sam and Jasmine? At best they smile…

  • Larry SilversteinOctober 22, 2015Reply

    Razor Sharp Dialogue in This Feel-Good Flick

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • jjmcgee-25086March 28, 2016Reply

    Good, but a few questions

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Reno RanganFebruary 14, 2017Reply

    An unlikely friendship in an unexpected circumstance.

    Seeing how much the film succeeded, I was not expecting a wonderful
    drama. I am satisfied with it though, like it portrays about being
    pregnant, particularly about the teenage pregnancy. They did not go
    deeper on that topic to just disclose the negatives, instead they told
    a heartwarming tale, the relationship between two unlikely pregnant
    women. After a high school teacher and her student got pregnant
    unexpectedly, and having a common, they come closer to get by together
    those tough times. During the period, they plan for their future, but
    many bumps on the road, how they tackle it was revealed in the rest of
    the film.

    I have heard that Cobie Smulders was really pregnant during making this
    film. She was good and the highlight of the film. I haven’t seen her
    many solo films. So I find her a much better actress and beautiful than
    in any of her multi-starer films. Her co-star was not bad either. An
    interesting storyline, and well written, but not enough to impress a
    large group of audience. Some people would enjoy it though, probably
    women who went through a similar situation in their lives. Sometimes we
    expect a film and reject it if it does not stand up to that par. But
    some films just reveal what it is intended to and this is that kind of
    film, whether you like it or not, it will be what it is.

    7/10

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