“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.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
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 Brettfirstname.lastname@example.org/The Buzz