Movie Review: The Backup Plan (2010)

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Comedy

Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) was a successful internet company owner, who trades in dotcom success for a low key existence as a pet shop owner in New York City.  Zoe has not found a man to share her life, but no worries she has a backup plan.  She’s going to be artificially inseminated by her doctor Dr. Harris (Robert Klien) and become a single mother.  Then, as fate would have it, she meets Stan, (Alex O’ Laughlin) while fighting over a cab.  They meet again at Stan’s roadside cheesestand, and a third time at a speech by dog whisperer Caesar Millan.  By this time, the two start dating, the first date goes horribly wrong (of course) and by the third date, they’re sleeping together.  By this time Zoe knows that she’s pregnant and finally tells Stan about her artificial insemination.  What does Stan do?  Does he stay with Zoe, or does he leave her to raise her twins alone?

There is one word for this movie, and it is contrived.  Every scene in this movie is something that’s been done better in other movies. There’s the ubiquitous argument on the first meeting, the crippled dog, a la Something about Mary, the ever popular disastrous first date.  It’s all been done before. It tries to be zany like There’s Something about Mary, or Along Came Polly or frank and adult in its humor like Knocked Up, but it lacks the character development and acting to make any of the characters any more than two-dimensional caricatures of real people.  It could be a serious movie about single motherhood, or a wacky farce, but even though it tries to be both serious and wacky, it fails at both..  Jennifer Lopez is not much of an actress, and even less of a comedic actress, as she proves stumbling through what should have been a comeback performance.  Why does she have trouble maintaining a relationship what goes wrong in her previous relationships?  Alex O’Laughlin tries too hard to get laughs, and there is zero chemistry between the two.  The humor is basically potty humor or other unsophisticated grade school humor.  And while it’s nice to see actors like Robert Klien, and Linda Lavin, they are given precious little that is funny to say.  It’s sad to see Tom Bosley, in probably his last role, looking gaunt and sickly, but still trying to make the most of his few lines.  This is not romantic, it’s not a comedy, and definitely not the comeback Ms. Lopez desired.

The Backup Plan.  Don’t back this thing up.

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