“The Back-up Plan” Movie Review

Film poster for the movie "The Back-up Plan"“The Back-up Plan” is surprisingly not awful, oh wait, yes it is, but I liked it better when it starred Hugh Grant and was called “Nine Months”, oh wait, no I didn’t. A fairly cookie-cutter romantic comedy where Jennifer Lopez is the smoking hot girl who can’t find a man (please tell me where these women are), just add an unborn baby to the fray.

Why you’ll like this:
If you like typical J.Lo fare; silly to-the-point romantic comedy

“The Back-up Plan” stars Jennifer Lopez as Zoe, Zoe wants a baby because she’s getting older and has yet to find Mr. Right so in the opening scene she goes for an artificial insemination and after leaving the doctor in the chipper-est of moods she runs into “Stan” (played by Alex O’Loughlin) who gosh-darn-it-all looks to actually be Mr. Right in the flesh. Let the outrageous jokes begin along with the life altering relationship. Yawn.

I can’t to claim that I’ve seen Alex O’Loughlin in anything, but he was a very nice surprise here. He performed pretty well and knew how to deliver a line and had an interesting character overall, I imagine he’ll be a dramatic talent if given the opportunity. To my surprise Anthony Anderson also gave me a few laughs, his normal approach often comes across as forced and cliche, but his minimalist delivery went over quite well. JLo is JLo, playing up the cutesy routine the entire time, relying on very dated material that requires dog grunts and flatulence.

The relationship itself makes no sense! You have Stan running out at every turn and Zoe sitting idly by hoping against hope that he isn’t gone, and then suddenly from left field Stan is making a valid argument and she tells him “If you want out there’s the door” to which he exclaims “I hate it when you always do that!”, uhhhh, what?? There is absolutely no discernible character arc for either one, instead opting for flimsy exposition wherever they can fit it in. The end scene even felt lifted straight from “Cocktail”, not that the rest was running on unbeaten paths.

Why you won’t like this:

Gross-out bathroom style humor and generally uninspired comedic attempts; unfathomable romantic storyline

This film was wholly unoriginal, where characters aren’t revealed by scenes, instead they’re written to fit into a scene. The humor either falls flat or is something that heavily depends on the audience’s appreciation for over-the-top antics such as an all-natural childbirth with lots of gross-out tactics and hysteria. If this is all that Jennifer Lopez has left in her tank (I actually like her and hope she goes back to dramas or more clever scripts) then I hope she has a better written Back-up Plan.

1.5 out of 5 Stars.

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Anthony Anderson, Michaela Watkins
Director: Alan Poul
Genre: Romantic, Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hr. 46 min.
Release Date: April 23, 2010