Under Review: ‘The Back-Up Plan’


After years of the dating scene, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has come to the conclusion that waiting for “the one” is just not going to happen for her. Driven to be a mom, she goes to her “Back-Up Plan” and off to the doctor she heads to be artificially inseminated. Upon leaving, she meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin), a nice guy with whom she can see the real possibility of a future. Can it possibly work out with her already being pregnant?

I went into this film expecting nothing because of the early reviews I have read, but this might have worked in the movie’s favor. Although this is not a truly original movie and the end result is never really questioned, it is the supporting cast of characters and some of the outrageous things they say and do that make this film enjoyable.

Yes, this movie was probably penned as a vehicle to showcase Jennifer Lopez in a role not quite like ones she has played in the past — in which she feels truly genuine — but it’s the secondary players that make this movie worth seeing.

I would have to say that one of my favorite characters in this movie is the advice-prone best friend (Michaela Watkins), who just says it like she sees it and is not a big advocate for having children. She has four kids of her own and constantly talks about how much she hates it, what torture having a child is and what it does to your body. Her over-the-top comments and dead-pan delivery of some of the most exorbitant one-liners in the movie made me love her character even more. Other good supporting players in this movie are Zoe’s pet shop employees, played by Eric Christian Olsen and Noureen DeWulf, who supply some comedic relief with their involvement in Zoe’s life and their takes on her choosing a red-headed sperm donor.

The rest of the laughs come from her adorable yet incapacitated dog “Nutsy” — every time you see it on screen you can’t help but chuckle because it is just so sad and ridiculous — and from her going to a support group called “Single Mothers and Proud,” a Zen-like group full of what look like man haters, lesbians and hippies. The leader of this group, Carol (Melissa McCarthy), cracks me up with the quirkiness of how she delivers her lines and the overboard way she runs the group. I can’t leave out a scene where one woman has an all-natural child birth in a kiddie pool and let’s just say they leave little to the imagination. The reactions of Zoe and Stan watching the birth up close and personal are priceless.

The movie is directed by first-timer Alan Poul, who has primarily done television shows (“Six Feet Under” and “Swingtown”) and I think he does a decent job with what he was given. Another enhancement of this film is the great scenery of New York and the wonderful cinematography by Xavier Pérez Grobet. The beauty of the movie and how it’s lit only serves to intensify the romance of the story. So is this movie worth seeing? I would say that if you’re a fan of Jennifer Lopez and you like romantic comedies with a bit of quirk to them, then yes. Otherwise, this isn’t a film you have to run out to see.

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4 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Chase #

    As hot as she is, I just don’t like her. That’s why I won’t see her movies. Katherine Heigl is the same way for me.

  2. grant #

    I actually saw this and I agree, it was better than I expected. Not good per se, but still …

  3. Al #

    I love to look at Lopez, I just don’t want to pay $10 to do it.

  4. annielicious14 #

    Ok broke down and saw this …….. figured if I was gonna trash it I might has well have seen it. I was really surprised! It was better than I thought it would be. ALL DUE TO THE SUPPORTING CAST. JL can’t act. Still say wait for the DVD and if you have nothing else to watch…..then hey! It’s a good filler.

    p.s. Chase Yeah…..not fond of the Heigl either…