The Back-up Plan is a comedy that explores dating, love, marriage and family in reverse. After years of dating, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has decided waiting for the right one is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, she commits to a plan, makes an appointment and decides to go it alone. That same day, Zoe meets Stan (Alex O"Loughlin) a man with real possibilities. Trying to nurture a budding relationship and hide the early signs of pregnancy becomes a comedy of errors for Zoe and creates confusing signals for Stan.
When Zoe nervously reveals the reason for her unpredictable behavior, Stan commits fully and says hes in. Never before has love seen a courtship where a wild night of sex involves three in a bed Stan, Zoe and the ever-present massive pregnancy pillow. Or, where date night consists of being the focal point at a near-strangers water birth which does for kiddie pools what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean. The real pregnancy test comes when both of them realize they really don"t know each other outside of hormonal chaos and birth preparations. With the nine month clock ticking, both begin to experience cold feet. Anyone can fall in love, get married and have a baby but doing it backwards in hyper-drive could be proof positive that they were made for each other.
There are so many problems here it"s hard to know where to begin. The cast strains to create a tone of cuteness, which proves grating, while the number of odd circumstances that keep Zoe and Alex running into each other is insulting. Not only do they happen to stumble upon each other trying to nab the same cab, not once but twice, but they also randomly meet at a farmers market. I"m sure this happens in a city of nine million all the time. However, this perfectly matches the script, which is all over the place as well. There is a slapstick sequence involving fire, dirt and a water hose, a pregnant J-Lo trawling in a dumpster and a climax involving, you guessed it, a dramatic birth. These scenes speak to the depths to which The Back-Up Plan stoops.
It is nice to have Jennifer Lopez back in a romantic comedy and for the most part it is an acceptable vehicle for her. O"Loughlin is a wise choice as her leading man and the two of them make a compatible couple. You just wish the script was not as cutesy and cliched as it is. This makes the film just an okay one rather than a thoroughly entertaining one like some of her past movies have been.
The Back Up Plan needed a back up script in which all the cliches had been eliminated and all the cuteness had been toned down a notch or two and only then it could have made a better view.
The Back-up Plan- Needed a better back-up script
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O"Loughlin and Noureen DeWulf
Director: Alan Poul
Rating: 1.5 out of 5*