Actors: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Michaela Watkins, Eric Christian Olsen; Director: Alan Poul; Rating: **
In the permutation of all possible stories, someday this reversal was bound to happen. 'Fall in love. Get married. Have a baby. Not necessarily in that order', as the tagline of the film reads.
The story seems good enough, but for a decent idea to work as film, it needs more than a 'star' cast. It needs good writers, a good director, and good actors not necessarily in that order. 'The Back-Up Plan' fails on each front.
Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), a single woman in New York, is tired of dating men and waiting for 'the' one for her. Instead, she takes her life to the next level on her own by getting herself artificially inseminated.
Ironically, she meets the man of her dreams - Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), the very day she did it.
She's in a fix as she can neither tell, nor hide this big secret. As expected Stan freaks out. However, he is a good man and comes around. Then onwards, it is a road of discovery for the new couple - discovering each other and a life of pregnancy.
Despite Zoe's best efforts it is her past experiences with failed relationships that drives the two apart.
The film is bracketed as a 'romantic comedy'. Sadly, that is the biggest flaw of the film - it being marketed as a rom-com. Yes there are moments of romance and a few other that raise a genuine chuckle, but the mood of the film is not of a rom-com. Hence, audiences going to see one, or to adore the anatomy of a pop-diva, will be disappointed.
The 'Back-Up Plan' is a gentle film about two lovers coping with a sudden parenthood that could have handled urban loneliness, insecurity and fear with better refinement. Despite this, in a Hollywood summer of mostly disappointing films, this does seem like a decent effort.
Jennifer Lopez gives audiences another reason to hate her personal back-up plan - acting. She should have stuck to music, or should have spent more time sweating in some acting school than she does in the gym trying to maintain her figure.
The rest of the cast leave nothing to rave about. The only actor you perhaps cheer for in the film is a paraplegic dog who steals the show with his cuteness and becomes a metaphor for Zoe's troubled emotional life.
The writers obviously don't know much about sub-plots as even the ones that exist have been badly handled. The charming antics of a few other characters seem out of place due to lack of attention on them done to focus too much attention on Jennifer Lopez.
The 'Back-Up Plan' should be just that in your itinerary - a back-up plan to fall for only if there's absolutely nothing else.