Film Review: Two Women Create a Human Connection in ‘Unexpected’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Providing human life to this planet is the dominion of women, given that they gestate new existence through to birth. It was refreshing to see that gender point of view carried to expressive terms in “Unexpected,” the latest film by Chicagoan Kris Swanberg, and featuring Cobie Smulders. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The story is played out in contrast – a white middle class teacher in Chicago and her achieving African American student both find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. There are obvious different issues on the reflective sides of this coin, and the film does an exceptional job bringing them to light without being stereotypical or preachy. The tight screenplay – by director Kris Swanberg – and the achingly organic performances by the two expectant woman plays like a real scenario, allowing the events to unfold with a satisfying natural rhythm.

Samantha (Cobie Smulders) is a teacher and counselor at a mid-level Chicago high school. Her world is rocked when she finds out that she is pregnant by her live-in boyfriend John (Anders Holm). She goes through the usual panic with this unexpected news, but continues to steer her roster of students toward college, including an exceptional achiever named Jasmine (Gail Bean).

As the prospect of having a child becomes imminent for Samantha, even for her reluctant mother Carolyn (Elizabeth McGovern), it is revealed to her that Jasmine has become pregnant by her high school boyfriend. The parallel situation between teacher and student develop into a friendship, but the differences in their pregnancy circumstances and status threaten to drive them apart. As the birth days get closer, their relationship goes through many changes.

”Unexpected” is in limited release, including Chicago, and is available for digital download. See local listings for theaters, show times and download sites. Featuring Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean, Anders Holm and Elizabeth McGovern. Written and directed by Kris Swanberg. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Unexpected”

Samantha (Cobie Smulders) Bonds with Jasmine (Gail Bean) in “Unexpected”
Photo credit: Film Arcade

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Unexpected”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions