|April 23, 2010|
Rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language
|The Back-Up Plan
The state of romantic comedies are at a critical low point for the genre. Romantic comedies used to mean something. Specifically films like recently reviewed How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days or, say, Serendipity or Wicker Park. All had stunning casts (Cusack/Beckinsale, Mcconaughey/Hudson, Hartnett/Kruger), state of the art storylines, and moments strategically placed throughout the film to make you feel the full spectrum of emotions from meant for a romantic comedy, like joy and disappointment, validation and heartbreak. They are romantic yet comedic. The romantic comedies produced today are at an all time low. The comedic portion of the films are all reused, recycled garbage while the romantic element is textbook and comes off staged and uninspiring. The recent romantic comedies like When In Rome, Leap Year, and The Bounty Hunter were dreadful, with no imagination and no reason for the viewer to even care to invest in the characters. The Back Up Plan is the best advocate yet, for this new romantic garbage in Hollywood.
Jennifer Lopez plays Zoe, a needy single woman, working at a pet care facility with her wheelchair ridden dog and a hankering for artificial insemination. Following her procedure she meets Stan (Alex O’Louglin…who ever he is…) on the street, over a chance encounter of a tails-up penny (real riveting stuff). From there, Stan ends up running into Zoe at a mutual friend’s party (what are the chances of that?? No, seriously, what are the chances?) where they go on a date. Yadda yadda yadda, Stan invites Zoe out to his goat cheese farm (where he rides his tractor around shirtless, of course) where he has named a cheese after her and, it is there that Zoe’s raging hormones cause some intercourse (nothing sexier than a barn…). Push comes to shove and Zoe is pregnant with child, Stan takes the news harsh when he finds out what she did and so prolongs the torture that is this film.
The plot is ALL over the place. Deep down, I feel as though the writers felt that the original plot was too familiar so they slapped on about forty ideas to mask the first horrible idea. Well, just a heads up guys, it did not work. The Back Up Plan fails at investing me, or being relevant to anyone besides (1) women that will watch any sappy romantic movie shoved in their face or (2) pregnant, emotional wrecks looking for a similar life to their own. Needless to say, the film was obviously not made for me, although there are plenty examples of films in the genre that have appealed to me, mentally and emotionally. The Back Up Plan however was not even close to registering.
The scene that absolutely kills me (negative connotations), is the scene where Lopez practices how she will tell Stan that she is pregnant, in front of the mirror. How many times must we, the viewers, be submitted to the SAME, repetitive ideas over and over and over again? Think up something original! Have Lopez practice her speech with the two legged dog for all I care, just quit the lame mirror shtick.
Jennifer Lopez is gorgeous, do not get me wrong. And I have enjoyed her in romantic comedies before, like The Wedding Planner. But it appears that this time she was caught in the wrong film at the wrong time. Most comedies Lopez stares in, she takes charge in the role, and her character is subject to a normal range of emotions, but in this film, I found myself physically stating to myself out loud “who does this?” because of the unnatural and absolutely ludicrous situations.
If you can possibly untangle your way through the mish-mash of plot and meant-with-the-intent-for-laughs storyline, then enjoy The Back Up Plan without me. My one worded review for the film would be “atrocious”. The longer version: a piece of recycling with a brand new bow tied to it. The Back Up Plan, unfortunately will never grace my Blu-Ray player ever again, and for that, I bid Jennifer Lopez ado. And who ever Alex O’Loughlin is.