Friday, July 30, 2010
The premise, although not completely new, is pretty simple. A single woman, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), is finally ready to have kids. One problem, she doesn’t have the other ingredient needed, that essential part being a man in her life in order to do so. So, she decides to have herself artificially inseminated to try to become pregnant and is completely fine with doing the single mom thing. Enter Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) and a chance meeting between him and Zoe when they accidentally get into the same taxi-cab. He asks her out, sparks fly, they begin to date, yadda yadda yadda. The real plot begins when she discovers her doubtful attempt at pregnancy has ended in success. Now, she has to make a decision: tell him or not to tell him? That is the question…that almost no one has ever had to actually do before in real life.
Going into this, I heard and read some pretty bad reviews about this film. I try to not pay much attention because as a moviegoer, and especially a critic, you need to keep your opinion un-encouraged by outside sources. After hearing the negativity about it, I really wasn’t surprised. J. Lo plus romantic comedy usually meant same old, same old. Plus the premise didn’t really seem that funny to me, drama filled, but not that funny.
Now, after seeing it, I’m around half and half. The romance part is the same generic boy meets girl, they playfully date each other and talk to their best friends about their new potential boyfriend or girlfriend. The “oh yeah, by the way, I’m pregnant” part is when all the fun begins. I actually found this movie to be pretty funny. I was laughing at most of the jokes and mishaps that although were slightly exaggerated, related a little to real life.
I did think some of the reactions from the characters, especially Stan, were a little overdone. I felt like pulling him out of screen and saying, “give her a break man, she’s pregnant”. But the majority of the performances by both stars were as of expected. The mushiness factor wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be judging from the first half hour of the movie. As it went on, it toned down a bit and focused more on being real than overly dramatic.
The funniest parts, of course, were the scenes that focused on the trials and tribulations of pregnant women including labor and giving birth in a pool of water with all of your closest friends to share in your “special day”. All I have to say is that I do not own a uterus so I have never had the displeasure of having it stretched beyond belief. That is why women, especially ones who have given birth, will always have my highest respect when it comes to reproducing. The addition of Anthony Anderson as a dad of three that Stan meets and discusses his “situation” with doesn’t hurt this film either.
In conclusion, not the funniest baby movie ever, but I think it received some undeserved negative attention. While some of the chemistry is questionable between the main stars, it serves its purpose. I for one would like to see Jennifer Lopez do more roles that have her showing more of her Bronx, Puerto Rican side. I just think it would be more real and believable than these common romance roles that she keeps including herself in. But that may just be the New Yorker in me. I give The Back-Up Plan “3 uncharacteristically planned pregnancies out of 5”.
“Let’s take a look at the fetus…it’s too early to go through the abdomen, so we have to go through the vagina…Vagina, vagina, vagina, vagina, vagina…maybe if I say it enough, you’ll feel more comfortable…vagina”