Friday, May 21, 2010

What I Think Of: The Back-Up Plan (2010)

Another month, another romantic comedy and I'm all the lesser for it. This 2010 rom-com is directed by tv director and first time feature film length film director Alan Poul and stars Jennifer Lopez as Zoe, a pet shop owner who decides that since she hasn't met the right man yet, to get artificially inseminated since she wants a child. However things don't go as planned when she meets a hunky farm owner named Stan (played by Alex O'Loughlin). Will Stan stay when he finds out that Zoe is pregnant, and is Zoe ready for the greatest gift of all- a family?

Booo. I know. What the hell was I thinking watching this? But again like I always say, I'll see any rom-com and time and again they prove me a sucker. The two lead character's are so different, so at odds with one another and yet, and yet... so right for one another. Wow. You can imagine how the movie ends. I wanted to see this one because I was a big fan of the 2007 tv show Moonlight, which starred Alex O'Loughlin as the hunky vampire, but yeah, I've come to understand a movie about a woman who is obsessed with having babies isn't really for me.

Here are some of my thoughts concerning this film:

  • Jennifer Lopez has really gone down hill as an actress. I mean she still has the cute rom-com female love interest going, but just thinking how she started out in Selena, then in Out of Sight which is just one of the best movies, it's kind of sad. Still, she has carved out a niche market here, but I can't think of any of the rom-com's that she's been in that have been stellar...or good?
  • Since Jennifer Lopez's character owns a pet store (and since they do book signings at pet stores although this is the first time I've heard of such a thing), Caesar Romano makes a cameo. I'll give any movie more credit when they get Caesar in the film. I love dogs, and Caesar's tv show allows me to watch dogs play and still make me feel like I'm watching something important.
  • I know that Alex O'Loughlin is good looking, but the way he goes about courting Jenny from the Block is really creepy, very stalkerish and not endearing in a cute way at all. Which made watching this film almost feel like a horror/crime thriller, like I was expecting him to turn up with bodies buried underneath his house. But hey, he is good-looking so maybe really good-looking people do things differently.
  • On that note, to many things are left unexplained, too many threads left unfinished. Stan owns a farm that he maintains and yet never seems to work at the farm. Zoe owns a pet shop that she rarely visits. Her guy employer seems to have a crush on her/is thinking about leaving the store, but the thread is never finished and he's only shown like three times so it's odd they had a story-arc surrounding him. Alex goes back to school so he can learn how to open and run his own grocery store but then quits the school because he has to work to support J-Lo's kid, but then he still somehow opens the grocery store and nothing is ever explained. I mean for a rom-com I'm stunned that there were so many left open threads.
  • On that note, why where there so many threads in a rom-com? This movie is just way too long for its source materiel- yay we get to watch J-Lo be pregnant for an hour. Oh shes part of a single-mother's support group, and they're all hippies and lesbians and that's why they're single moms. Good for you director Alan Poul keeping up those wonderful stereotypes. Even worse, you don't go all out on the lesbian/hippy single mom stereotypes so it's never funny.
  • There were just way too many characters in this movie. There's like 15 supporting character's and yet all feel like throwaways and are unnecessary. Especially when Stan goes to the park to hang out with other dads as he stresses about what it means to be a father. Just brutal. Way too many supporting characters that are supposed to matter but just make the length of the film feel longer.
  • On that note, I can so see how Alan Poul has mainly directed hour tv shows like Six Feet Under and Rome, because this movie acts and is paced like a 45-minute show and yet sadly the movie is over 100 minutes long. Painful.
  • Seriously Alex O'Loughlin's character is just way to creepy to be the male lead in a rom-com. I mean he comes off as a stalker/serial killer and while I get that J-Lo's Zoe is desperate, she's having a kid and this guy just keeps showing up everywhere. Again, I guess the really good looking people live in a different world and have a different set of social moral standards.

So that's what I think of The Back Up-Plan. Oddly much worse than I thought it was going to be since I really felt that it didn't know what it wanted to be, a rom-com about two people falling in love, a family drama on what it means to be a family, or a rom-com about two people not ready for parenthood. Either way, it failed at all three. Still there's a shirtless Alex O'Loghlin and J-Lo still looks pretty good, so yeah, some eye-candy I guess. But if you watch it and don't like it, then like me, you have no one to blame but yourself.

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