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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Back-up Plan (review)

She’s 40 years old going on 8, a womanchild who has desperately wanted a baby for years, goes through the enormous expense and preparation of having herself inseminated with donated sperm, and yet knows absolutely nothing about childbirth. He’s a preposterously perfect man — a gorgeous, buff, smart, sensitive successful entrepreneur whose “fatal flaw” is his lack of a college degree… oh, and just happening to enter her life literally moments after her insemination. Together, they are the least suspenseful rom-com couple in ages, perhaps ever: of course they’re going to end up together, but The Back-up Plan barely offers them any roadbumps along the way. It isn’t even particularly pleasant watching the undeniably physically attractive and (usually) charismatic Jennifer Lopez (An Unfinished Life) and Alex O’Loughlin (Whiteout) as these two ridiculous people. Allegedly making up for the utter lack of any dramatic tension is some slapstick featuring 1) a cute little dog in a canine wheelchair, 2) a nasty best friend for Lopez, a bitter mother (Michaela Watkins) who resents her own children, and 3) a support group for single moms who bizarrely agree to keep Lopez on as a member after she hooks up with O’Loughlin. This last is vital to what the film appears to believe is its mission: to poke fun at any attempt at motherhood that doesn’t look like something so conventional and white-bread that Pat Robertson would approve of it. It’s the perfect film for the nation of children we have become, in which supposed grownups are expected to laugh at jokes about dogs eating pregnancy tests and be grossed out by a little baby spitup.


MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • funWithHeadlines

    Some publicist for the studio behind this, commenting on the sub-par opening weekend results for The Back-up Plan, said that there were no other “women’s pictures” coming up in the next couple of weeks so this movie would have the market all to itself.

    I couldn’t decide which made me more depressed: that this publicist thinks women want to only see movies about women even in stupid situations, or that the publicist might actually be right.

  • AsimovLives

    There was a time when Jennifer lopez looked like a bright young thing, a breath of fresh air. And then ego came to play. She has once talent. I see none of it anymore. Jennifer Lopez is one of the most unsufferasble egomaniac in Hollywood. She turned herself into this beast of zero appeal and interest.

  • nnvee

    I actually would prefer to watch movies about women but movies from a time when they wrote material that matched the talent of the actresses.

    Example: Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelly Winters, Doris Day, Shirley MacClaine, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Debbie Reynolds, Tippi Hedren, Janet Leigh, Grace Kelley, Rosalind Russell, etc.

    The cast of the Back-up Plan were likable, including Jennifer. They seemed to be doing the best with what they were given.

  • patty

    I was not expected to like the movie since I have never been a big fan of Jennifer Lopez Acting. On the other side I think she is a very talented business women and artist(dancer etc) However Last night I decided to watch the movie, and I really liked. It was very enjoyable and entertaining, her acting was very natural it seemed like she was really living the character and the situation. The movie could have been better, but I appreciate what I saw. Movies sometimes only portrait almost perfect people with perfect lives, but we are not all the same, and believe it or not these things can happen, and in this individualistic, robotic kind of world even more because work and other things do not let people find their true loves. I think all the cast did a very good job! Ithe movie was very positive and pleasant, i do not think they were trying to win an Oscar for this…
    People stop to be harsh, and do not hate JLo for her fortunate life, is good to separate her personal life from her career because we are discussing her movie here.
    Thanks.
    Best wishes to all!
    P.

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