Movie review: The Back-Up Plan

J.Lo gets pregnant before she meets her man in a rom-com that'll make you wish she did neither

The Back-Up Plan
Cert: 12A, 106 mins
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin

Jennifer Lopez can’t get a man. So she… Okay, wait a sec. I’m going to stop right there. Do you ever look at a film like this and wonder: “Can’t that be it?” I truly think, all things considered, I’d actually have more fun watching a film where she then doesn’t get a man. Where she mopes around in her pants and the film ends?

There’s something about the hideous predictability of The Back-Up Plan. About Lopez‘s feisty unlucky-in-love gal. About her kooky work-makes. Her perfect apartment. Her “emotional honesty” face that makes her look like she’s passing a pinecone. That – after about 3.7 arguments, two montages, and one instance of falling in love despite herself – she clearly will end up with her perfect man after all (he makes cheese).

The only thing that’s different is the twist. For The Back-Up Plan, it’s this: because she can’t get a man, J.Lo has had herself artificially inseminated, and falls pregnant just as she meets the hunk of her dreams (Alex O’Loughlin).

Is abortion ever mentioned? No. Of course not. That doesn’t exist in J.Lo emotional honesty world. And so the rest of the film sees Lopez getting bigger and bigger, some humour that can be summed up as “baby stuff! Weird!”, and her fretting a lot that he’ll leave her. Which, to be fair, he should. Not because of the bump – but because of the screechy, needy, irritating, pushy human that’s carrying the bump, the T-1000 of relationships.

Imagine Knocked Up – only without any wit, charm, honesty, pathos or like-ability. It’s almost impressive.

Stuart McGurk