'The Back-up Plan' Sinks Jennifer Lopez Lower in Romatic Comedy Hell | Film Reviews | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Film Reviews

'The Back-up Plan' Sinks Jennifer Lopez Lower in Romatic Comedy Hell

I'm no obstetrician, but I'd wager that Jennifer Lopez's own labor when birthing fraternal twins two years ago was much less interminable and painful than watching this romantic comedy, the star's first movie since 2006's El Cantante, about knocking yourself up.

As single, financially comfortable, baby-craving Tribeca pet-store owner Zoe, Lopez muddles through the dismal big-screen debut of both writer (Kate Angelo) and director (Alan Poul), who burden her with an absolute void (Alex O'Loughlin) as a love interest, an SNL castoff (Michaela Watkins) as a second banana, and a disabled Boston terrier.

The same day she receives intrauterine insemination from Dr. Harris (Robert Klein, who later provides some weird gallows gyn-humor), Zoe meets Stan (O'Loughlin), an organic cheesemonger. Throughout their courtship, crises are incoherently manufactured, involving Stan's struggle to pass an econ test at CUNY, Zoe's eligibility in the Single Mothers and Proud Group (which, confusingly, seems to include dyke couples making predatory lez eyes at the newcomer), and our heroine's final-act lesson on learning to trust.

Why does Lopez, post-motherhood, now seem intent on reinventing herself as a screen presence even blander than Kate Hudson?

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Melissa Anderson is the senior film critic at the Village Voice, for which she first began writing in 2000. Her work also appears in the publications of the Voice’s film partner, Voice Media Group: LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.

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