The Back-Up Plan

13 Jul

Title: The Back-Up Plan
Year: 2010
Director: Alan Poul
Writer: Kate Angelo
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Noureen DeWulf, Melissa McCarthy, Eric Christian Olsen
MPAA Rating: PG-13, sexual content including references, some crude material and language
Runtime: 106 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 4.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 20%

I’m not a fan of Jennifer Lopez, not at all, however she’s not the problem I have with this film, if anything I would concede in calling her at the very least appealing in here, because she really does look good or at least as good as she ever has at this stage of her career, and I’m guessing her fans will certainly like her in it, and Alex O’Loughlin is a guy I actually find quite charismatic in pretty much everything he does, but the plot is sickeningly predictable and the characters are completely stale in this one, two facts which ends up hurting the end result like crazy.

The movie is a collection of many typical rom-com situations, and instead of delving into one or two deeply, which would have sucked to being with, it goes even further and just superficially explores them all, and yes, the required clichés are all painfully in order in this one. The character Ms. Lopez plays, Zoe, is a woman who, after being unable to find the perfect guy to have a baby with, decides to get artificially inseminated and then, just after she gets that done, she meets a cute guy while she was asking for a cab. How typical a guy-girl encounter is that? Yeah, and it gets worse.

You know where this is going, she meets the Mr. Right who had eluded her so much just minutes after she got artificially impregnated because she had decided she was never going to find him, and then they go at their romance for the duration of a feature film when they could have done it in a 20-minute sitcom, and a bad sitcom at that, and had a couple minutes to spare, everything the movie has crammed up in its middle is horrible rom-com fodder, this truly is a very uninspired, unoriginal, boring and uninteresting film.

I feel bad for Lopez, who is certainly trying her best for the comeback second act of her career, but just take a look at what she’s done recently, from the lame Shall We Dance to the insipid Monster-in-Law, and you’ll be able to tell that luck definitely isn’t on her side in the quest for said comeback. And yes, look at me in all my generosity avoiding to mention the disastrous Gigli. Or not.

Lopez is rich and famous and really well-known but yet she is already 40 and is still looking for a comeback at the movies, since Out of Sight she has done pretty much nothing that’s been good, and while movies like this one don’t really hurt her career that much, after all it did turn a profit at the box office, she may start taking shittier stuff in an effort to get that comeback, and that can’t be good, I mean yeah, she has the financial power to get a producer gig and get herself as a leading lady, but soon enough the results of that will be much more embarrassing than this one right here.

As for O’Loughlin, well he’s still looking for his big break, and he’s a guy I genuinely like and just hasn’t had the luck he deserves to catch his big break, and hopefully he’ll get it with his new fall series later this year, the remake of Hawaii Five-0, but he has done some good stuff, specifically the pre-vamp-frenzy TV show Moonlight, and came into this, from all I can see, with the right attitude, he is, after all, not a household name and was probably hoping this would make him one, it didn’t, but I don’t see this as a stain in his career, just a mishap.

This is a film that tries to go for that screwball-ish awkwardness but misses it horribly and turns out just plain uncomfortable to watch, and while Lopez looks good enough and O’Loughlin is a cool dude their chemistry is never to be seen, and the characters lack any sort of real dimension, it’s a film that follows the rom-com playbook religiously, there’s necessary bathroom humor, seriously bad jokes about birth and babies and a lot of Ms. Lopez’s body, that while still there won’t be for much longer so she better get that comeback vehicle sooner rather than later, and not in romantic comedies about babies, if we wanted one of those we would go see the far superior Knocked Up, or even Baby Mama, and not the horrible affair that this is.

Grade: C-


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