For those of you who've read my reviews for quite some time, you know I cannot understand the appeal of Jennifer Lopez. She's beautiful, but neither her music nor movie careers have given audiences much to celebrate. In the new movie The Back-Up Plan, J-Lo proves she hasn't lost her touch for selecting forgettable, waste-of-time projects.
The Back-Up Plan puts the gorgeous actress in a position Hollywood loves to put gorgeous actresses: as an insecure woman who can't get a date if her life depends on it. In this case, she actually wants a baby, but the premise is the same from the outset: the audience is forced to believe that this woman can't land a dude who wants to bang her, even her best friend who must be blind and stupid.
Jennifer Lopez gets knocked up by a little vial and then, lo and behold, meets a handsome guy (the shockingly boring Alex O'Loughlin) who she falls in love with. Uh-oh! For a while she keeps her pregnancy secret, but eventually she has to tell him. He freaks out, but you know how this movie has to end.
The Back-Up Plan is wrong for several reasons. One, it treats artificial insemination as a harmless plot device, not as an expensive, challenging and controversial decision. Jennifer Lopez doesn't even dwell on her child's life with a single mother, nor does the movie tackle the questionable practice of inseminating perfectly healthy women because they want it (Octomom, anyone?).
More importantly, The Back-Up Plan relies on every forced cliché available in romantic comedies and utilizes them to the utmost. I couldn't sit through the entire thing it was so painful (and I was on an airplane with nothing else to do). Even my mother, who self-acknowledges she likes most romantic comedies, couldn't put up with the cheesy plot points and developments.
Jennifer Lopez is harmless, but O'Loughlin really digs a hole halfway to Hell. The actor is about as boring and plain as actors can get and proves to be an absolutely terrible choice for leading man. "Hawaii 5-0," watch out.
There is little good that comes from The Back-Up Plan. It isn't funny, romantic, interesting or dramatic. It's just a series of cliché moments jumbled together into an incoherent and amateurish story.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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