'Unexpected': EW review
A science teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school and one of her star students find out they’re pregnant at the same time in Kris Swanberg’s lovely, minor-key indie. Neither Samantha (How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders) nor Jasmine (Gail Bean) is exactly prepared for motherhood: Sam is still planning to apply for her dream job at a local museum, and chafes at her anxious mom (Elizabeth McGovern) and live-in boyfriend (Anders Holm) assuming she’ll be fulfilled by staying home when the baby comes. And Jasmine knows her hard work and high GPA could provide opportunities most of her peers don’t have. As the two begin to spend more time together outside of school, bonding over french fries and prenatal yoga, a sweetly tentative friendship forms. But Sam’s eagerness to help Jasmine trumps her awareness of all the advantages—a supportive partner, financial security, adulthood—she takes for granted, and in one finely wrought scene it becomes obvious that Jasmine is far wiser and more clear-eyed about their divergent realities than she is.
Unexpected isn’t particularly interested in driving the plot forward or holding its leads up as avatars for a cinematic lecture on poverty and white privilege. Instead, it just lets them live and breathe and make mistakes—not for the aim of any greater message or grand epiphanies, but because that’s what people do. B+