Jennifer Lopez stars as Zoe, a single woman who has tired of waiting for Mr. Right to come along while her biological clock ticks away so she chooses to use artificial insemination to get the baby she desires. Upon leaving the clinic, after “Hilariously” walking in a hideous manner to prevent leakages, she bumps into Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) a cheese making entrepreneur who tries to steal her cab and after a bit of mild flirting, including the line of “want to come and taste my cheese”, they begin dating.
Zoe then unselfishly waits until he falls in love with her, then chooses to make love with Stan the cheese making man on his huge ranch (surely then identifying that he has all the right attributes for a father figure) before finally telling him that she’s actually pregnant and conceived the day they originally met and that he has to deal with it if he wants to permanently commit to her. Nice way to get the man of your dreams you selfish cow (the link with cheese is a apt one).
Those wondering where the film goes from here the clue is in the tagline.
There is a horrible amount of seriously unfunny slapstick gags on show which never work, I’m not entirely sure why but I put it down to the unnatural comic timing of Lopez which make it all seem forced. Zoe wrestling with her dog for the results of her pregnancy test stick was stupid, a sequence in which Zoe’s derisory single mum support group chant and sing while one of the mum’s give birth in a birth pool screaming like a banshee and releasing her bowels in the process, which is fished it out with a net, is just weird and not funny, the silence in the screening was evident to that.
The Back-Up Plan has your usual Romantic Comedy characters , with Zoe’s wisecracking best friend Mona (Michaela Watkins) whose suppose to be funny but comes across spiteful and loathsome for her hateful remarks about her own kids and life when trying to steer Zoe away from her life plan, then you have Nubbins the disabled pet dog of Zoe who has a higher success rate of joke delivery and completely upstages Lopez in complexity of its performance and character development that shines through especially with the last word in the film of “Woof” which was a classic when Zoe discovers she’s pregnant again.
There are horribly squeezed in father to be scenes as Stan goes to a playground to watch kids play and convince himself he’s ready, he gets accused of being a paedophile by Anthony Anderson (Transformers & The Departed)and is then giving life lessons on being a father by him using yet more poo to get cheap laughs which all seemed to be used to get Stan the motivation for fatherhood to move the film along but by then the pair are so ill suited to be a couple you just hoped he would see sense and run for the hills.
It’s pretty clear I didn’t like the film, but in all fairness it’s not aimed at me. There is definitely a target audience of people that will like this stuff and watch Jennifer Lopez look good, charm and talk about her arse for a while but what’s the point of making a movie with a film poster giving away the entire plot in 13 words?! “Fall in Love, Get Married, Have a Baby. But not necessarily in that order”. The film seriously tries to make you think that these horrible soulless characters will not end up together but you know they do so it makes all the forced relationship issues that the pair come across completely unbelievable. I know these films are suppose to have happy endings but after 10 minutes I just wanted to shoot myself.
The Back-Up Plan is out 7th May.