The Back-Up Plan
Director: Alan Poul
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin
The most distracting thing about The Back-Up Plan is Jennifer Lopez’s hair. No matter what wacky situation her supposedly quirky and down-to-earth Zoe winds up in, no matter how messy this “comical” look at pregnancy gets, her ’do is always flawless. Even when she’s caught in the rain.
It’s only the most glaring symptom of the film’s tendency to frame Lopez like the glowing pop star she is, not the clumsy, supposedly adorable character she’s supposed to be playing. So scrap that whole down-to-earth thing, I guess.
The concept isn’t bad for a romantic comedy — single woman decides to stop waiting for a husband to have a kid and gets herself artificially inseminated, only to meet the man of her dreams immediately after — but the execution here takes the air out of it.
While The Back-Up Plan is director Alan Poul’s first feature, he’s no novice, as he’s been directing startlingly good TV for years, (Six Feet Under, Rome), so it’s even more surprising that nearly everything on screen falls flat. The pacing of the entire film seems off, almost loopy.
But there are a few bright spots of comic relief, including Zoe’s time spent with a man-hating single mothers’ support group.
And Michaela Watkins, woefully let go from Saturday Night Live last year, manages to salvage any scene she’s in as Zoe’s sardonic best friend with some less-than-sentimental views on childbirth and motherhood.