A solid low-budget antidote to What To Expect When You're Expecting stars Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Lego Movie) in a sharp dramatic, even heartfelt turn. Arguably her best to date in an about-face from her hard-working anchorwoman on the small-screen hit How I Married Your Mother.
Her inner city high school teacher Samantha becomes the titular mother that turns her life upside down with supportive beau (Anders Holm). A finely streamlined tale of a new life-changing phase in life has much authenticity from Sam's relationship with one of her students, Jasmine (a solid Gail Bean).
Jasmine happens to be in the same condition as her teacher and she becomes grateful but a bit unsure about the intentions of a more experienced individual who knows how she could navigate being a collegiate and motherhood. The focus of a bond with its ebbs and flow has an undeniable naturalism and integrity to it reflected in the sure-handed direction by Kris Swanberg (wife of Joe known for his free-form techniques).
A hardly overlong Unexpected won't have a long theatrical shelf-life, but from its work in front and behind the camera it's definitely something that may strike a chord with supporters of artsy films like Half-Nelson that resonate as an unusually compelling wake-up, if redemptive call.