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The Back up Plan
Genre Romance
Year: 2010
 
Review:

So far, we've established that Jennifer Lopez can actually act, dance and sing. However, her talent and charisma is very difficult to unearth in her latest outing, The Back-up Plan. This is one of those movies that should come with a complimentary sick bag. It's the kind of romantic comedy schlock that airs because of its star power and not for its content, which is disposable and embarrassing for all involved including the audience.

The most immediate thing you'll notice about The Back-up Plan is that the co-leads are not suited. It's forced chemistry at best and Alex O'Loughlin could have easily been cast as Suitor 1. There's no sparkle between the two and the only thing they have going for them is that they're easy on the eye. Many "romcoms" have started with a bad match and find a workable solution by focusing on the comedy instead of the romantic interplay.

The problem is that the comedy in The Back-up Plan is non-existent. Obvious gags are set-up without a peep from the audience. It's so contrived and borrowed that you can see the gimmick a mile away. A disabled pet, getting into a car when pregnant, lame first date antics... it's almost infuriating how formulaic the scenes become with regular product placements from Gray's Papaya. What adds to the challenge of staying in your seat is the depths of bad taste the film-makers are willing to sink to.

If you thought License to Wed or Trust the Man was in poor taste then you'll be able to replace whatever recollection you had of that on-and-off comedy with The Back-up Plan. Pregnancy and motherhood are one thing, but taking every moment to bring feces into plain sight is not funny, whether your kids dropped one in the sand pit or a friend's fishing it out of the birthing pool. Awkward, uncomfortable and irritating are not words one would often associate with comedy, but The Back-up Plan never fails to drop the bar on your toes. From graphic ultrasound protocol to a furious mother's expulsion of her child, the motherhood "jokes" fail on every count.

The Back-up Plan is tacky, uninspiring romantic comedy fare that will either make you get up and leave the cinema or watch it dwindle to its all-too-predictable conclusion. This is a stinker of a film, one that managed to get away from the birthing pool fishing net and one that should be thrown out with the garbage. J-Lo hasn't done herself any favours with this turn and apart from one or two chuckles on the park bench between the guys, The Back-up Plan is a cold turkey. In retrospect, calling it The Last Resort would have been more apt, because unless you're testing your patience or planning on getting some shut-eye in the cinema... The Back-up Plan should be anything but your second choice for movie night.

The bottom line: Abominable.

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