Most of the male reviewers in this industry loathe romantic comedies. It is the only thing in the industry that we conceive to be as easy to make as a poorly written horror movie. Insert female who is looking for love in all of the wrong places and give her an unique situation to find that special love. Insert hunky guy who is a bit quirky to sweep her off her feet. Love, love, love and they go off to get married and make babies. So I did what any man would do in this situation, I begged my better half to write the review.
And hello there! It is I… the usual reviewers “back-up plan” to getting out of having to do a mushy movie! I am not the average female that goes oogly over these romantic comedies. I find them to be unrealistic, predictable, and boring. The plot is always the same. Woman who cant find love, finds it in some odd situation… someone is not truthful about something, they fight, and split up… after a short time apart, they decide to make nice and have woosa time. End of movie. Is this movie any different? Can they really break the cycle of really bad romantic comedies?
We start the movie with Zoe (played by Jennifer Lopez) on her back… in a doctors office. Sorry to the men out there. She has decided that her biological clock is ticking away, and since she can’t find Mr. Right, she will have a baby by artificial insemination. After the procedure is complete, she walks out of the doctors office with a bright shining smile on her face and a pep in her step. She hails a cab, and as she gets in, so does Stan (played by Alex O’Loughlin). After arguing whose cab it is, she tells him that she will not let him ruin her mood, and they both get out, and both lose the cab. As she walks away, he finds a penny on the ground, and tries to get her to pick it up. She claims she only picks them up if they are heads up, she flips the coin over to heads, and walks away. He picks up the penny, and end scene.
Zoe decides to join up with a single mothers support group that her doctor suggested, and still works at her pet shop (where you meet her puppy that is the most interesting character in the entire movie). Later, Zoe and her friend decide to go to a local farmer’s market, and lookie who is there! Stan! Stan the man… the cheese man?! They strike up a conversation, but after a slight interruption from one of Stan’s classmates, Zoe believes Stan to be unavailable, and leaves. But later on, Zoe runs into Stan at her pet shop while she is holding a gathering for an author of dog training materials. They agree to go on a “no pressure” date at a local garden, where things don’t go as planned, but still not horrible. At the end of the night, he invites her to his farm for the weekend, and when they part ways, she finds out she is pregnant.
Does she tell him? Before the weekend? During? Or after? She debates with many options, and decides on just not doing the deed over the weekend, to not complicate things (You still here? -echoes- Yeah I wanted to leave too… -reminds herself to bonk husband later on-). She goes, wrecks her car on a tree outside the place, and then makes herself look like a pig by doing some serious nomming on some grub he made for dinner. Things get hot and heavy, and afterwards (and I mean RIGHT after), she breaks the news to him that she is pregnant.
Dude: “Wasn’t that awesome?”
Chick: “Oh yeah it was! I’m pregnant!”
Dude bolts out of the room, house, city, county, and state in less than 3.5 seconds.
At least that is how it should have been. At least then I could have been spared from the rest of the movie. This was your usual train wreck of a romantic comedy. Though the only comedic parts in the whole movie revolved around a few scenes with Anthony Anderson, who plays a dad at a playground who befriends Stan. Other than that, it wasn’t funny… at all. The “romance” was lame at best. Stan’s attempt at schmoozing her is with a candlelit dinner of pizza in a beautiful garden? That would work on me, but this is supposed to be all schmoozy and romantic for the typical female. It was predictable, and completely unrealistic. I am sorry but no man in his right mind would put up with half of what this man in this movie did. If you have seen any other romantic comedy, you pretty much know how this one is going to go from start to finish already. So I would say to pass on this, and do something more interesting, like wash your hair, or scrub your kitchen.
The video is in 2.35:1 widescreen presentation in 1080p resolution. If you are one of those men hoping for a picture where we get some intimate shots of Jennifer Lopez, you’ll be disappointed since she spends a lot of this movie “pregnant”. Unless you like the idea that J-Lo is relieving herself to find out if she is positive. Hawt. Anyway, this movie does pretty well in the video department. It has a good dose of color and even though there is nothing special (it is shot in Los Angeles), there are no problems to report. It’s sharp, and most certainly clear and what you would expect from a Sony first rate picture.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 English DTS-HD track. As with most romantic comedies, dialog is in immediate focus and it does quite well. You will be able to hear everything with no problems at all. They do try to include some surround work here with a little dose of environment, but that is really kept to a minimum. The major plus to this track is the music used throughout and if you are a fan of airy and poppy music, you will be at home here. Subtitles are included for English and English SDH.
- Automatic Trailers: The Bounty Hunter, Stomp The Yard: Homecoming, Runaways,and Nine
- Deleted Scenes 5:12: This package of four deleted scenes doesn’t do too much to develop the movie and mostly serve as fluff. However, they are good if you enjoyed the character of Clive (played by Eric Christian Olsen).
- Belly Laughs: Making the Backup Plan 11:35: We get the typical making of featurette here which should have been renamed to “Jennifer Lopez Lovefest 2010 Edition”. The director, Alan Poul apparently laughed at the screenplay and cried during the ending. He’s a minority in the making. They do spend a little bit of time with the supporting actors (and thankfully mention Tom Bosley who does appear in this flic) but that’s about it.
- Previews: Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy), The Young Victoria, Charlie’s Angels,and To Save a Life
The Back-Up Plan is an exercise in what is wrong with about ninety-five percent of romantic comedies. It is average movie-making with two actors who get together, break-up and get back together again to get married and make babies. Or in this case, the babies come first. That’s really the only clever (and I use this term loosely) plot device. The rest of the movie is predictable and not very funny at all. Well, except for Nutts the dog who understands what comedic timing is about.
For Jennifer Lopez’s family and the other dozen fans of the movie, the disc is solid and does a very good job in the video and audio end. The special features aren’t quite as good as one would hope but do give us about twenty minutes of Back-Up bliss. We can’t recommend this movie even in the slightest and we urge you to do something more productive with your time. Perhaps we can decode the message of Baby plus Love equals Diamond Ring (when you see the Blu-Ray loading screen, you’ll understand) into something that doesn’t scream gold digger.