The Back-up Plan

Movies, Comedy
1 out of 5 stars
The Back-up Plan
In this stunningly charmless romcom, pet-store owner Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has a crippled Boston terrier called Nuts who gets around with the aid of a little cart. The poor little fellow, as you might imagine, is often deployed for “aw” reaction shots. He also begs for food, with a look that mixes hope and despair in equal measure. You’ll recognize that look, since you can also see it on the faces of Lopez and her supposed romantic interest Alex O’Loughlin. Bad actors! No biscuit!

It’s not entirely their fault. The only novel twist in the script is that Zoe, tired of waiting to meet the right man, has decided to have a baby on her own. This leads to such distinctive delights as watching Lopez sit on the toilet with a home pregnancy kit, trying to relax and pee while little Nuts looks on quizzically (“Aw…”). Otherwise, the whole thing is like a Franken-romcom, made from parts dug up at midnight. On the very day she is artificially inseminated, Zoe meets Stan, a hunky, good-natured cheese maker who inexplicably keeps an apartment in the city though he has a sprawling farm upstate. He also has a distressingly well-developed torso, and O’Loughlin’s often pained facial expression may be because he’s in a constant state of flex. The possibility that he might rupture something from all the flexing provides the only real tension in the movie, since he’s so perfectly nice and caring that there’s never any question about whether they should be together.

Weirdly, a movie about a single woman who decides to have a baby makes other single mothers the butts of endless jokes about their neediness, their hippie-dippy water-birthing, their inappropriate breast-feeding of a three-year-old, etc. The elderly get equal mockery, so there’s that….

By: Hank Sartin


Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Alan Poul
Screenwriter: Kate Angelo
Cast: Jennifer Lopez
Alex O'Loughlin
Michaela Watkins