Wednesday, June 30, 2010


THE BACK-UP PLAN (romantic comedy)
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen, Noureen DeWulf, Donal Logue, Melissa McCarthy, Harold Gould, Jennifer Elise Cox and Linda Lavin
Director: Alan Poul
Screenplay: Kate Angelo
Time: 98 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

J-Lo and Alex O'Loughlin in The Back-Up Plan

PREAMBLE: Usually, you meet your Mr Right, get courted, fall in love, marry and then start a family. However, when this fails to happen, you go for the Back-Up Plan: You start a family in the reverse order by having a baby first.

And then you discover that back-up plans can backfire...

WHAT'S IT ABOUT: New York pet-shop owner Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) is tired of waiting for Mr. Right to come along before she becomes a mother. At 30-something, her clock is ticking and time is running out, so Zoe opts for the sperm bank to get pregnant. Within hours of the procedure, Zoe meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin) an attractive and sexy cheese-farmer who seems to charm the pants off her. Soon a budding relationship becomes a full blown courtship.

Then Zoe finds out that she is pregnant with twins and she must find a way to tell Stan without scaring him away.

HITS & MISSES: It is easy to see where the gags are heading: they are aimed squarely at women who have been pregnant or are considering being in the family way. We have exaggerated gags about cravings and hormonal fluctuations and even desperately contrived situations like setting fire to the dinner table just to liven things up. Some work but many don't.

J-Lo looks great in most of her scenes but she is no Sandra Bullock. Her Zoe and her 'problems' (like, whether to let the hunk into her life) appear unconvincing and unrealistic. O'Loughlin fares a little better but his Stan seems to have more 'Wrongs' than is required of Mr Right. And what is the script-writer thinking, using a 'crippled' dog-on-wheels to get the laughs?

THE LOWDOWN: Treat this Back-Up Plan as the Last Resort.


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