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"The Backup Plan" lacks chemistry

By Megan Carey
On April 26, 2010

"The Backup Plan" is the latest romantic comedy from the powerhouse of all romantic comedies, Jennifer Lopez. Lopez's previously successful films, "The Wedding Planner," "Maid in Manhattan" and "Monster-In-Law" set the bar high and my expectations even higher for her highly anticipated, at least in my mind, movie "The Backup Plan."

It had all the right ingredients for a theater-packing date night romantic comedy. A relatively unique storyline: woman is still single and decides to have baby all by her lonesome and then immediately meets Mr. Right in the form of Alex O'Loughlin, the vampire Mick St. John from the television series "Moonlight," who plays a convincing leading man. However, the movie fell almost completely flat.

The chemistry between the central characters felt coerced and fake. Zoë (Lopez) is a small pet storeowner and Stan (O'Loughlin) is a farm-owning cheese merchant. They "steal" each other's cab in an early movie scene, and from the onset, the situation is destined to become the story of how they met in a "You tell the story, honey. Oh no, you tell it; you tell it so much better" scenario. They run into each other a few times here and there after the cab fiasco and suddenly they're flirting and dating, but then, oops, J.Lo ends up preggo, and not by her new true love. By a cruel twist of fate, Zoë had come from her OB/GYN appointment, where she was artificially inseminated, when she and Stan met.

As I said before, the plot is ingenious, and to the viewer who is reading the synopsis to try to decide if "The Backup Plan" seems more promising than "The Losers," the movie seems to be the better choice. In a move not uncharacteristic of me, I'm going to go out on that limb and say go for the action movie over the rom-com, at least this once.

There were also some definite laugh-out-loud moments in the movie, including a scene that may instill life-long abstinence in those who felt the disturbing aura that radiated from Stephanie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" birthing scene. Sure, it's funny that a woman is having a home birth in a plastic pool, but how funny is it when she starts demonically moaning with a possessed look upon her face while disgusting events ensue?

While "The Backup Plan" pales in comparison to its previously successful counterparts, it holds its own as a somewhat entertaining, mildly comical Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy and yes, it is important to include the distinction of "Jennifer Lopez" when referring to a romantic comedy. She's a powerhouse, after all.

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