The Back-Up Plan a film starring Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin directed by Alan Poul is a romantic comedy with many laugh out loud moments. The film has a plot that is fresh and from my research, is a cinematic original. Its unique plot has a light-hearted romantic appeal but with a stunning twist. The Back-Up Plan is a fun and entertaining movie that changes the traditional and predictable scenario of dating, love, marriage and family by starting the cycle in reverse.
Romance and comedy is abundant in, The Back-Up Plan. Movie romance typically means a chick-flick film.
San Francisco Chronicle hearst movie writer Amy Biancolli disagrees, stating “… their story goes way, way beyond standard chick-flickiness. ” On the romantic edge, you have Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) a middle aged woman who owns a pet store and has been dating for years with no serious results. She is tired of waiting for Mr. Right to show up, yet he never does, so she is fearful her dream of having a family is quickly fading.
To make sure her dream of having at least one child comes true, Zoe proceeds with her backup plan and decides to take the matters into her own hands and body and elects to be artificially inseminated.
However, as fate would have it, on the very day of the insemination procedure, she had a serendipitous moment with a man trying to take the same taxi cab outside her doctor’s office building. The handsome gentleman named “Stan”, portrayed by Alex O’Loughlin, is a successful goat cheese farmer. He is good looking and charming, but at first, Zoe tries to pass it off as nothing but coincidence, but Stan did catch Zoe’s eye. Yet, they bump into each other again and again and Stan begins to go out of his way to romance Zoe and try to capture her affections.
Zoe eventually succumbs to Stan’s charms and agrees to a date. For their first date, Stan sets up an elegant, private picnic at a lovely community garden. The plot thickens after a few weeks of dating, as Zoe finds that she is pregnant after her first insemination try. She now has to find a way to either break-up with Stan or tell him she is pregnant. If he accepts her new “condition”, they will have nine months to date, fall in love and have a baby. As you can imagine, comedy and laughter go hand and hand with the romance in The Back-Up Plan.
There are a variety of clumsy and weird situations that happen along this hilarious journey. Critic Biancolli opines that, “Lopez does a fine job of mortifying herself in pursuit of physical humor to shifting her center of gravity in more ways than one. ” On Zoe and Stan’s first date, a drink gets spilled and a water hose fight ensues. There is also a very funny, yet over the top and outrageous water birthing scene. There is plenty of comedic attention to Zoe’s bouts with morning sickness, uncontrollable sex urges, disgusting food cravings and a body pillow to round out the weird.
While Lopez and O’Loughlin are the obvious featured and top billing stars, reviewers vote that it’s the supporting cast members who virtually make this celluloid at hit. Biancolli says it best when she states that, “the supporting players nearly steal the show. ” There are a number of surprise cast members who add to the hilarity. Some cast members worth noting are: Anthony Anderson, a nameless playground dad, Michaela Watkins, Zoe’s best friend with four children whom she has a love/hate relationship, and Melissa McCarthy, the leader of a single mother’s support group.
When looking for a romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan is a fun way of exploring the process of dating, falling in love, getting married and building a family in very unconventional ways. These factors make it a perfect movie choice. The film is funny and while a bit predictable and kind of surreal, it goes against stereotypical romantic comedies. Traditionally in film, girl meets boy, they fall in love, fight and break up and in the end, get back together to live happily ever after. Now, it is time to pony up to the ticket counter, grab that soda and bag of popcorn, then be tickled and amused by The Back-Up Plan.