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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta shines in “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”

what_to_expect_when_youre_expecting_ver8“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is stuffed like a Christmas goose with top talent. So stuffed, in fact, that it looks like the studio’s graphic design department had to get creative to cram 10 names — Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Chace Crawford, Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro – above the title in the official movie poster.

The stars of the film also include Smith’s Olde Bar, the Georgia Aquarium, the Woodruff Arts Center complex, Fulton County Airport at Charlie Brown Field and Virginia-Highland, which were among the filming sites. Piedmont Park shows up in numerous scenes, too.

“Every time I see the promos I think, ‘Gosh, the park looks great,’ ” said Monica Thornton, senior vice president and chief marketing and development officer for the Piedmont Park Conservancy.”Hollywood has turned its attention to Georgia and specifically to Piedmont Park when it comes to shooting outdoors. We’re proud that so many people in Atlanta support the park so it can be a showcase for the world.”

A scene filmed in Piedmont Park

Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford in a scene filmed at Piedmont Park

“What to Expect,” which filmed here last year, works in some nice product placement for hometown brands, including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola. Delta doesn’t do a lot of product placement, but felt like the lighthearted Atlanta-centric movie was a good fit. “It has Atlanta all over it,” spokeswoman Leslie Parker said. “We were thrilled to be able to sign on.”

The Georgia Aquarium shimmers in the scenes filmed there.

“They were a joy to work with,” Georgia Aquarium spokesperson Mackenzie Anderson said. “They were a great crew.”

Chris Rock, left, and Rodrigo Santoro, in another scene filmed at Piedmont Park.

Chris Rock, left, and Rodrigo Santoro, in another scene filmed at Piedmont Park.

Georgia has lured a slew of film projects here since the legislature passed industry tax credits in 2008. Some, like the Farrelly brothers’ “Hall Pass” and “Three Stooges,” filmed here but weren’t set here. Others, like the gross-out comedy “The Change-Up,” are set here but don’t exactly do Atlanta a lot of favors (one high profile Atlantan filmed a cameo for the movie and later told me he was relieved when it didn’t make the final cut).

“What to Expect” is not only set in Atlanta, it’s a cute and funny film that deals with baby making without being too explicit. It fairly screams “Date Night” or “Girls’ Night Out.”

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

“We love to see Georgia prominently featured as a backdrop in a feature film,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development spokesperson Stefanie Paupeck. “’What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ did a great job of taking advantage of a variety of filming locations around Metro Atlanta – we are looking forward to having moviegoers see us on the big screen and recognize some of their favorite spots.”

"What to Expect While You're Expecting," as a Delta spokesperson put it, "has Atlanta all over it."

"What to Expect While You're Expecting," as a Delta spokesperson put it, "has Atlanta all over it."

The ensemble comedy tells the story of different couples in a wide range of circumstances facing parenthood. The movie is set in Atlanta, although not aggressively so, meaning none of the principal actors slaps on a fake-sounding Southern accent. (Australian actress Rebel Wilson does nail a Dixie drawl in her small but hilarious supporting role as a baby-store employee).

Atlanta’s food truck scene also plays a strong supporting role in the film, as two of the principals are food truck employees while two others have a fateful encounter in front of one. (In a serendipitous stroke of timing, an Atlanta food truck permitting snag got worked out days before the movie hit theaters.

Brooklyn Decker in a scene filmed at Chops Lobster Bar.

Brooklyn Decker in a scene filmed at Chops.

After being temporarily forced to close because of a permitting issue with the city of Atlanta, the Atlanta Food Truck Park announced its reopening last week). Food truck scenes were filmed in a number of spots, including the Woodruff Arts Center area, where The Fry Guy truck enjoys a nice closeup.

“We are excited to see our baby on the big screen,” said Jobe Gruber, one of the truck’s owners. His crew was involved in filming for about seven days.

“It was a little bit boring at times,” he said. “There’s a lot of waiting around.”

One morning in particular seemed less than glamorous.

“We had to be at the High Museum at 6 in the morning,” Gruber said. The crew member who pulled the early shift was none too pleased at first.

“There was a knock on the window and it was Cameron Diaz saying good morning to everyone,” Gruber said. “The highlight of the whole experience, aside from getting paid, was when my fry guy was greeted with an early morning wave and smile from Cameron Diaz. We’re looking forward to seeing it.”

- Jennifer Brett/jbrett@ajc.com/The Buzz

17 comments Add your comment

ILOVETHISMOVIE

May 16th, 2012
2:52 pm

I saw this movie at the Atlanta premire and it was hilarious…. The Ethopia Scene was filmed at a small church on my street! It looked awesome…..

PK

May 16th, 2012
3:54 pm

“Buzz: Atlatnta shines in ‘What to Expect’ ” It would be nice if they could spell Atlanta correctly on the front-page link to this story.

Brizo

May 16th, 2012
10:31 pm

“The movie is set in Atlanta, although not aggressively so,” But does it claim it is in Atlanta or just some Southern city? I saw one guy wearing a Georgia Tech t-shirt in the commercial.

Marcellas

May 16th, 2012
11:48 pm

Atlanta is a lame town. It it hot and sticky with no major body of water. It will never be able to compete with American cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Washington DC, Dallas, Seattle. I don’t need to mention New York or Los Angeles.

Dwayne

May 16th, 2012
11:57 pm

You can also see a Creative Loafing box in the trailer.

Greg

May 17th, 2012
9:37 am

HEY GUYS WE ARE REAL CITY LIKE NY BECAUSE TAXPAYERS GIVE FILMMAKERS MONEY TO MAKE ATLANTA LOOK COOL.!!!!

Susan

May 17th, 2012
9:43 am

So, Marcella — stay out of Atlanta if you don’t like it! We have plenty of amazing things and don’t need a large body of water other than our beautiful lakes & rivers! In the winter, when you’re buried up to your neck in snow, we’re enjoying being outside, not shoveling! Why so negative? Oh, I know — you haven’t had any Southern hospitality!

GaPeachy

May 17th, 2012
10:01 am

@marcellas, get a life, and get the hell out of my city. If you move somewhere and don’t like it just leave! It’s that simple. I can’t stand all the transplants here complaining! It’s too hot, ugh the bugs, there is no water! Yeah well you moved here because your lame asses can’t afford to live or get a job in Chicago, NY or LA so shut the hell up or leave!

CanThinkForMyself

May 18th, 2012
8:08 am

I saw part of this movie being filmed at the Woodruff Arts Center (I work across the street). It was fascinating to watch! Got to see J Lo!

sharon

May 18th, 2012
9:21 am

FYI–A scene (in a store) was filmed in Inman Park near Wisteria restaurant.

Connie Douglin

May 18th, 2012
12:11 pm

Visited Atlanta, loved it, so beautiful and can’t wait to move there with my family. Very true, the people who could not afford those other places don’t understand. Pray that more business’ continue to invest in Atlanta and Georgia.

atlmom

May 18th, 2012
4:44 pm

getting sad that we’re moving — there are some great people here! And I’ll have to change my ‘nick.’ :)

[...] — The Georgia-filmed “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (starring … basically half of Hollywood) comes out today – are you planning to go see it? The film prominently features (and actually appears to take place in) our fair city. [...]

Imaj

May 18th, 2012
11:21 pm

Marcella’s dummy it is a garden not a city. It is a garden with little city nuggets sprinkled around so we can eat yummy and sometimes no what’s up in the big world beyond our dreamy garden. Return to your concrete jungles and arid landscapes. Modern Eden is for us.

John Law

May 20th, 2012
3:09 pm

If anyone remembers the student film about driving a 55 around I-285 (55: A Meditation on the Speed Limit) a few years ago that went viral and which was mentioned on CNN, broadcast networks, and in the AJC, you may recognize that that one of the ring leaders of that group of GSU film makers briefly appears in What to Expect, as the magazine editor or manager who thanks the Cameron Diaz character, then eavesdrops on her heated phone conversation with Matthew Morrison. Also, the AJC has special claim to him, as he once was a video journalist for the AJC website, covering the Georgia Legislature (fashions under the capital dome, the burning question of who would prevail in a barroom ball between representative and senators, and other weighty and pressing issues of the day).

Vilma

May 21st, 2012
10:09 am

@Susan Our polluted lakes and rivers? Please get real. Atlanta is sinking under the weight of its own jealousy, and that is not kind to the copycat buildings made of cardboard and plexiglass.

Oh, and there is nothing “amazing” about Atlanta.

Irma

May 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

I am IN this movie.,,,,!