How many years has it been since we, the movie going public, have been graced with the stylings of Jennifer Lopez on the big screen? Two years? Seven? The correct answer is four. The other correct answer is: “Not nearly long enough. Not by a long shot.” The Back-up Plan, the reason for her rousing from her hiatus, proves the latter is the better of the two answers.
To her benefit though, the car wreck that is The Back-up Plan isn’t all the fault of her lack of having any acting prowess (this film would have stunk no matter who took the female lead). Oh no, there are several more damning reasons . . .
The male lead, Alex O’Loughlin, is completely miscast. That is unless of course, as Zoe’s (Lopez) suitor Stan, he’s supposed to give a performance that mimics the Tin Man with a look of bewilderment throughout. Each and every scene he is in is quite nearly a carbon copy of the preceding scene. Watch him watch girl get an internal ultrasound, gasp and pass out. Watch him learn girl is having twins, gasp and make an ass out of himself. Watch him watch girl give birth, gasp and make an ass of himself. Watch him, oh you get the cycle by now. Alex is a good looking guy, but his fortunes rest in television where he’s managed to keep himself employed.
The writing and directing, however, are undoubtedly the biggest offenders to the success of The Back-up Plan. I don’t believe Alan Poul even tried to direct this film — for all intents and purposes it appears he didn’t ask his actors to give him anything other than the bare minimum spelled out explicitly in the script. I’m not entirely sure he could have gotten anything of worth from the likes of Lopez or O’Loughlin but even the tiniest bit of prodding would have gotten him something better than what is in his final cut.
As for the screenplay, well, that is a wonderment unto itself. It’s said that if a monkey is given an infinite amount time to hit keys on a keyboard, it would produce the works of Shakespeare. Well, the work here shows what an adolescent monkey can type up if given 45 minutes alone with a keyboard. I mention adolescent, because only a twelve or thirteen year-old could find this movie even the slightest bit amusing. Screenwriter Kate Angelo ditched any semblance of chemistry between her leads and instead focused strictly on gross out gags. Throw-up, vaginal blood, afterbirth, and many more make an appearance — each landing with a resounding thud.
Personally, I can’t believe Ms. Lopez was able to outdo herself. In 2003, she starred in the oft-made fun of Gigli — a film so awful many regarded it as one of the worst ever. The Back-up Plan, gives that movie a run for the money. 2010, meet the worst movie of the year.