January 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 17°F


J-Lo film backfires as sappy comedy

Alan Poul’s romantic comedy “The Back-up Plan” tells the unlikely story of a single woman’s struggle to find love in a predictable, routine manner.

After years of dating, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) gives up on trying to find a man who will start a family with her and opts for artificial insemination. Only after she becomes pregnant does she meet the man of her dreams, but she’s afraid to tell him that she’s pregnant in case the baby-on-the-way scares him away.

Romantic comedies are known to be unsurprising, but “The Back-Up Plan” takes predictability to a whole new level. Every cut, character and plot point follows the safest, most generic, most-overly-visited path a story can take. Lopez plays the beautiful, naive, genuine woman and Alex O’Loughlin plays Stan, the romantic, honest and well-built Mr. Perfect. When the plot starts dragging more than usual, the film cuts to shots of Lopez’s cute, crippled dog to keep the audience engaged.

Overall, “The Back-up Plan” feels more like a back-up movie to go see if the tickets for “Date Night” are sold-out. Two likable characters and a chic opening credits sequence aren’t enough to save viewers from the boredom and predictability of this film.

“The Back-up Plan” was written by Kate Angelo and directed by Alan Poul.