Directed by: Alan Poul
Premise: A successful career woman (Jennifer Lopez) meets the guy of her dreams (Alex O’Loughlin) just after she gets artificially inseminated.
What Works: There are a few set pieces in The Back-Up Plan that are really funny such as a New Age water-birthing scene.
What Doesn’t: The Back-Up Plan is a film that plays like a mash up of scenes from other pregnancy films. The pregnancy gags are almost all recycled from other films like Knocked Up and Baby Mama and the couple’s romance follows a cliché courtship-commitment-breakup-reconciliation cycle from every other romantic comedy. The breakup and reconciliation scenario happens several times in this film and rather than bring the couple closer together, all this does is convince the audience that these two should not be together in the first place. Lopez’s character in particular comes across as a harpy, the challenges of pregnancy notwithstanding, that O’Loughlin’s character ought to drop like a bad habit. The Back-Up Plan is further hurt by awkward shifts its tone between melodrama and physical comedy; neither is handled well and the serious scenes are marred by dialogue that is right out of a soap opera. But what really makes The Back-Up Plan awful is its regard for women, pregnancy, and parenthood. The film does more than any other motion picture or television show of recent memory to reinforce the notion that women are incomplete without children but that having them is the worst thing to ever happen to a person.
Bottom Line: The Back-Up Plan is a weak imitation of better films like Knocked Up, Baby Mama, and Waitress and audiences would be better served by revisiting one of those films.
Episode: #286 (May 2, 2010)