By Jaya Biswas

Film: The Back-up Plan

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen

Director: Alan Poul

Rating: Okay

Some memories are best forgotten. And it certainly holds true for Alan Poul’s The Back Up Plan. An intended rom-com that fails to generate the desired effect, except for just one or two worthy moments, The Back Up Plan is predictable, cliched and lacks punch in both storyline and execution. Written by Kate Angelo, the film is undoubtedly a vehicle meant to cash in on Jennifer Lopez’s star value and indeed Lopez has a very amiable screen presence. But The Back Up Plan is certainly not going to boost her career. The story revolves around Zoe (Lopez), a single, lonely New York girl, who owns a small pet store, has a disabled dog and two supportive employees (Eric Christian Olsen and Noureen DeWulf). A 30-something Zoe feels her biological clock ticking and desperately wants a family. Failing to get her Mr Perfect, she opts for artificial insemination performed by a comic gynaecologist (Robert Kline). As fate would have it, the day Zoe gets pregnant, she meets the man of her dreams, Stan (Alex O’Loughlin). Stan is an organic farmer who makes fancy cheese and takes his shirt off a lot (sure he has a body any woman would drool over). So Zoe and Stan fall in love. The crux of the film is Zoe trying to tell Stan about her pregnancy, and being interrupted by situations that lead to comedy (yes, you heard right). Once he shows her his cheese (no pun intended), another time, she vomits on his shoes. Once she manages to tell him, it’s constant bickering and tiring fights about trust and understanding. Then it’s about whether he can accept the soon-to-be-born twins as his own and finally whether he sees himself in a long-term relationship with her or not? The story gets boring after a point. Never before have we seen a courtship where a wild night of sex involves three in a bed Stan, Zoe and the ever-present massive pregnancy pillow that looks like a python. There is a sequence involving fire, dirt and a water hose that even looks silly on screen. Again, a pregnant J-Lo reaching a climax, you guessed it, a dramatic child birth… now how many times have we seen that one before? JLo and O’Loughlin make a nice couple and we only wish the script had something better and fresh to offer. It is good to have Jennifer Lopez back on screen and she looks pretty in smart clothes. That makes the film just an okay one unlike some of her other comedies like The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan which did well at the box office. Overall, if you are looking for anything even remotely funny, skip this one.

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