We love a good movie with a pregnancy story line. The topic brings a dramatic flair, that is for certain, so it's come up in everything from romantic comedies to horror flicks. But the thing is, the writers don't necessarily tell the story of a true pregnancy.
We aren't talking about documentaries, although there are a number of major ones that you might want to check out, including "The Business of Being Born." We're talking about shows that have come to local theaters or were made straight for television. They tend to take a little bit of artistic license, maybe to brush over the gross bits or to keep the character in a certain situation. Some movies keep it real, while others go for the extra drama in a way that might make us laugh but will leave us questioning the credibility of the storyline.
We've got a list of some of the movies that give us the true taste of pregnancy and some that should definitely not be considered true to life. We've left off the horror genre for now — after all, pregnancy and delivery are scary enough as it is — but we hope that we have hit some of your favorites.
Here are 10 movies that portrayed pregnancy exactly right and five that were way off.
15 Accurate: What To Expect When You're Expecting
When the name of the movie is synonymous with the No. 1 selling baby pregnancy book of all time, you better hope it is pretty accurate, and we have to say that for the most part, we think that the 2012 romantic comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" gets pregnancy and labor and delivery mostly correct.
What we liked most about the movie the most is that it portrayed many different stories — truly, no two pregnancies are exactly alike and so we think it was great that they showed the range of experiences that a woman could go through.
The funniest part was the difference between the easy pregnancy and labor experiences of Brooklyn Decker compared to Elizabeth Banks, who had to go through just about everything. The movie talked about hormones, about incontinence, about fertility struggles and even miscarriage. We're grateful that it gave women the full picture — that it isn't always easy to have a baby, but it is always worth it. It even shows how difficult the nine months can be on the dad. Of course, many women say their experience was nothing like the movie, but, like we just pointed out, everyone's pregnancy is different. It can be dramatic and messy, but that's not just good entertainment; it's real life.
14 Accurate: She's Having A Baby
We're going back 30 years for our next movie. "She's Having A Baby" is a 1988 film starring Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern, and we admit it's been a while since we've seen the entire thing. But we love that it tells the story of newlyweds who go through some incredible changes in their lives.
The movie definitely highlights the struggles that men and women face, and how they don't always feel like they are on the same page when they go through an experience like pregnancy.
The story might have been about the couple, but much of the struggle was from the perspective of Jake, Kevin Bacon's character. He is probably like most dads — very excited on some days, but so very scared on others. The drama gets real during the delivery, when Elizabeth's character Kristy suffers complications. She is rushed into surgery, and we really worried along with Jake. We all feel the relief and the joy of meeting the new baby, realizing that family is the most important thing. It's a great movie that reminds us taht there are struggles and joy in pregnancy and in marriage, but with love and trust we can make it through.
13 Accurate: Juno
Teen pregnancy is a major issue in America, and we can look no further than the women who have become famous through the Teen Moms franchise than to understand the impact that having a baby young can have on your life — although those who do not get famous struggle a lot more. Of course, it's hard to really inform people about the situation and really make things poignant and life-changing. "Juno" did that, and it made us laugh at the same time.
The movie accurately depicted the truth that a teen can get pregnant even if she's only with someone once. It shows how a girl would try to keep it from her parents and how difficult it is to deal with relationships from the dad to family to friends. Juno's unforgettable pregnancy test scene is funny but also so accurate, and there is no sugar coating the labor and delivery experience. We're not so sure about the adoption process depiction, but it does portray the range of emotions that a pregnant teen and an adoptive mom go through. The truth is that many teen moms have it a lot worse than Juno, who had supportive parents and more resources than most. But the movie does a good job of entertaining us while showing all the things that a teen could go through during a very dramatic nine months.
12 Accurate: For Keeps
Our next film is another 1988 classic that many moms these days may have seen as children. It stars Molly Ringwald, who was the '80s darling — at that time, it meant a lot that she would participate in a movie of this magnitude, and it probably brought a lot more people to the audience. "For Keeps" goes even farther than "Juno" to show the impact of pregnancy on teenagers because the characters decide to raise their child.
Darcy and Stan were a couple who were going places. Darcy was the editor of the high school paper and she and her boyfriend Stan were both on their way to college when they get pregnant. Their parents react very differently, with one side wanting her to end the pregnancy and the other totally opposed to it. They end up getting married and trying to go it on their own. Darcy is forced to drop out of high school but works toward her GED, and Stan gets a job to pay the bills. It's real life, and it's heart-breaking. Eventually Darcy breaks up with Stan to try to get him to go to college without her and the baby, although things turn out all right in the end.
The message we appreciate the most is the way that they portray Darcy going through postpartum depression.
That issue is swept under the rug even now, but it was really not talked about in those days. It's a great movie that doesn't shy away from the struggles of a mom, whether she's a teen or not.
11 Accurate: The Back-Up Plan
Even planned pregnancies can be difficult, as "The Back-Up Plan" reinforces. We totally get how a man can fall head over heels with Jennifer Lopez, even after she has decided to go through artificial insemination and she is on the rode to parenthood. We're not sure all of the plot lines really echoed what it's like to have a baby, but J.Lo. really experienced a pretty typical pregnancy for much of the movie.
Poor thing, we think that a lot of the ups and downs can partially be considered a pat of living with pregnancy hormones, and J.Lo.'s beau actually gave a pretty memorable performance of what it's like to be a man who is dating a pregnant woman.
The adult times might be great, but there is a pressure that not all women will be able to understand and relate to. Many men and women who are hoping they can lead their lifestyle as they had before will learn that even the baby arrives, he changes everything. We really feel for the people who think that a home birth is straight out a movie, but like the movie, it's not as easy we think. We all learn that lesson the hard way, which means that sometimes pregnancy is truer than fiction.
10 Accurate: Nine Months
Hugh Grant went from a heart throb to a cad in one of the biggest downfalls of a sexy star ever when he was arrested not long after "Nine Months" came out. That may be why the movie has a reputation for being so off the mark. But the truth is that the film isn't too far off from the experience of many people, especially those who are with commitment-phobic men.
Sure, having a crazy, over-the-top doctor like Robin Williams doesn't happen to most people, and you usually don't have to worry about running in to Tom Arnold every time you turn around. But the movie still gave a pretty accurate portrayal of the panic that can set in when you have a baby on the way. There are lots of people who have to deal with major life changes, including the car that they drive, and many have trouble making the transition.
Those nine months aren't just about growing a baby — they are also about transitioning an entire life to prepare for parenthood.
Women struggle with their careers, whether they are a ballet teacher or not, and the excitement is tinged with insecurities about how well we will cope and how committed we are to our family. It's a crazy ride, but we all fall in love with our children, just like Hugh Grant did in the movie.
9 Accurate: Baby Mama
Surrogacy these days isn't often like "Baby Mama," but the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy still seems fairly on the nose when it comes to describing what it means to be pregnant. It definitely shows the plight of a woman of a certain age — which is more and more of the population of women who become first-time moms — who want so desperately to become mothers even though they may not be in the place in life that they had hoped for.
It even goes into fertility in a way that is so true for thousands of people who end up turning toward other options to have a baby these days.
While we think that most surrogates these days aren't anything like the character that Amy Poehler portrayed, we all feel like fish out of water when it comes to putting our body through pregnancy and even more with the delivery. Of course the ending is the nightmare that almost never happens to women who hire surrogates, but the humor of the pregnancy and birth have a little bit of truth in them, in a way that keeps us laughing so that we don't cry. This movie is a very funny but surprisingly accurate take on pregnancy and being a mom-to-be, and you'll be surprised by how much isn't that far off from the truth.
8 Accurate: 15 And Pregnant
Back in the day, Lifetime used to have a lot of movies that did more than entertain — they taught us a lot about a certain subject and they usually made us think as much as they made us feel. When we were growing up "15 and pregnant" seemed a little over the top, but then we went through it ourselves — hopefully when we were much older than 15 — and we learned that the movie wasn't really all that far from reality.
The movie stars Kirsten Dunst as the girl whose life turned upside down from an unplanned teen pregnancy.
The movie was overly dramatic in the same way that many made-for-television films are, but still had a lot of truth to it. Poor Kirsten had to deal with school friends who didn't understand and a lot of other teen angst.
The hormones definitely gave us the same kind of roller coaster ride, although many of use were well outside of the teenage years when we went through the experience ourselves. And no matter how old you are, the birth is just as dramatic and scary. This is the movie that caused many of us to wait a little while to get intimate and convinced us that contraception is definitely a good idea for teenagers. But the sweaty, sweet portrayal of the labor and delivery and the highs of lows of pregnancy and parenthood hit the mark pretty well, we learned once we finally decided that it was OK to try it ourselves.
7 Accurate: Precious
While a lot of the movies on our list work really hard to give an accurate depiction of the struggles of pregnancy and delivery, none are as sad as the movie "Precious." But the film is actually based on a true story, so unfortunately, it is fairly true to life. There are a lot of girls who find themselves in the predicament that the girl was in, pregnant at a young age with a parent who wasn't the best role model herself.
The girl is completely overwhelmed.
She is part of a system that has failed her, and it seems as if she is destined to continue the cycle.
Poor Precious dreams of a better life, but it's not necessarily her pregnancy that is going to keep her from achieving it. A lot of teen girls are bullied, much like the fact that a lot of pregnant women are mom-shamed. They feel trapped by their body, but pregnancy is as much of an opportunity as a burden, and sometimes it's hard to see the options when the next nine months are at the top of our minds. We never found ourselves in the same situation as Precious, but somehow we still felt that the story was our won. We know that there are hundreds of teens each year who find themselves in the same cycle, and we hope that the movie gave them the hope to break it.
6 Accurate: Look Who's Talking
We absolutely loved "Look Who's Talking!" Not only are John Travolta and Kirstie Alley so cute and funny in the movie, but we really loved the way that the movie portrayed pregnancy.
Of course, we know that babies don't really have the kinds of full adult thoughts that Bruce Willis articulated for the fetus. But it was really interesting and actually gave a lot of information about the baby's life is going on inside the womb.
It shows how the baby gets a taste of the food that mom eats, and how the baby becomes aware of his own limbs and such. The sperm and egg scene is a little bit simplified, but we think it's a pretty good education for a family-friendly movie. Everything from the morning sickness to the rush to the hospital to the way pregnancy impacts relationships are all depicted fairly accurately, and at the same time we are rolling in laughter and rooting for the romance. This movie gets even more interesting when you are following the growth of your own baby in the womb, so we definitely think it's a great movie to watch while you are expecting your own little one. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll learn a thing or two.
5 Way Off: Bridget Jones's Baby
We understand that film producers and writers take artistic license with movies to make them more dramatic and interesting, but we wonder if the writers of Bridget Jones's Baby had ever even met a pregnant lady before. It's a funny movie, yes, but only because Bridget does what she always does — sticks her foot in her mouth, makes wacky decisions and falls in and out of love. We were so looking forward to this sequel, but even with the wonderful eye candy of Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey, this movie is just so unrealistic to any mom that it's even more laughable.
First of all, Bridget basically has a miracle baby, and she's really inept at figuring out the father — it's usually not that easy for a woman of a certain age to get pregnant by accident, although it can happen. And in the first trimester, doctors can pinpoint the day of conception pretty accurately, but that would defeat the entire premise of the movie. We're kind of surprised that Bridget's doctor didn't make her get the amnio for reasons of testing the baby's health whether it determined the dad or not, since most women of advanced maternal age have to go through a slew of tests because of the risks to the baby. And that labor scene — even those of us who have had babies come in a couple of hours are able to walk, for goodness' sake. And if she were in labor, she would have pains for a minute and then a break where she could give the guys' back a chance to recover. But let's face it — that scene where Colin and Patrick try to carry her through the streets is really funny, even if it would never really happen.
4 Way Off: Father Of The Bride Part II
"Father of the Bride" was a pretty fun, but fairly accurate look at the life of a parent when their little girl is getting married, so we thought that "Father of the Bride Part II" would be pretty close to reality as well. But we're not so sure that it gave moms-to-be a really true-to-life story at all. While there are moms that get pregnant again late in life and give birth around the same time as their daughters, it's usually pretty few and far between, so we don't want to get anyone's hopes up. It's quite a stretch, especially when the mom and dad don't really do anything to help in the fertility department.
Worse, though, is that they treat the soon-to-be grandmother's pregnancy like it is totally normal. At that point in a woman's life — any time after 35, as a matter of course — a pregnancy is treated as a high risk.
The mom wouldn't be doing all the same things as her daughter — she would be going to two or three times as many doctors appointments, undergoing a lot more tests and ultrasounds and feeling a lot more aches and pains and tiredness. Older moms are a lot more likely to have a baby with a birth defect or other kind of condition, and they are a lot more likely to have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. The labor will be just as harried, although most people don't have to worry about Franck getting them to the hospital on time. This movie is definitely funny, but please don't watch it and think that it describes pregnancy all that accurately.
3 Way Off: Junior
OK, there's one movie on our list that there is no denying it is nothing like real pregnancy.
While there has been a pregnant man now — more than a decade after "Junior" came out — it hasn't happened without a person having a uterus.
The men who have had babies in the past several years are transgender people who have chosen to give birth with reproductive organs that they were born with, not like the strange science experiment that brought a baby into being in the movie.
Don't get us wrong, we think the movie is hilarious. It brought Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger together again after the blockbuster "Twins," and they were both very funny. The premise was unusual, and the movie was definitely entertaining. And it tried to give at least some of the flavor of what it's really like to be pregnant while getting some laughs at Arnold's hormonal episodes. This is a fun movie to watch, but any mom knows that this isn't a true pregnancy experience. Even the few men who have gone through the process know that "Junior" is totally fiction, even when it comes to describing what it's like to have a baby on board.
2 Way Off: Waitress
There are some pros and cons to the movie "Waitress," but we're putting this one on the not-so-realistic list. We understand the reluctance that Jenna, played by the beautiful Kerri Russell, had to becoming a mother, especially with the negative relationship she had with her husband, but that's not really the problem here.
The part that most of us cringe about is the idea of falling in love with the obstetrician.
Sure, some people get crushes on their doctors, but when you are pregnant, you are a little too worried about doing something gross while he is in the middle of a procedure to fall for him. You will see him a lot more than you would like, especially if the pregnancy is high risk. But considering all the embarrassing questions you have to ask and all the gross symptoms you have to discuss, we're not sure how either the mom or her doctor could ever get past all the ickiness.
This movie has its very funny moments and its poignant ones. It's definitely a good story, but it's just not a great pregnancy movie. It will give some hope to moms who feel guilty that they didn't immediately embrace their pregnancy, but otherwise, it's mostly just a fictional story that is entertaining to watch.
1 Way Off: Saved!
If you ever wondered what it was like to be a pregnant teen in a religious high school, the movie "Saved!" tries to answer that question. Unfortunately, we think it is pretty far off.
The movie is really more of a satire on evangelical Christians today, and it serves that up pretty well with a lot of laughs.
Even the majority of the Christian community agreed that the movie did a good job of showing the stereotype of the judgmental church-goer who doesn't quite get the true meaning of Jesus' message. Maybe it's trying to not quite give the true message of teen pregnancy as well.
The movie starts with a girl who thinks that maybe if she's intimate with her boyfriend he'' be straight — she realizes pretty soon that is a terrible idea, and not just because you can't pray the gay away. Somehow she is able to hide her pregnancy for months on end by wearing a hoodie, until it all unravels with a locker search. Jena Malone, who had her own first baby pretty recently, did a pretty good job with the crazy scenario, and we must admit that she acted the labor scene pretty well, although they left out all the risks that a teen mom struggles with. It's still a funny movie, but it's a satire in every sense of the word, and no one should take the pregnancy experience too seriously.