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The Back-Up Plan
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Reviewed on 2010-04-24
RatedPG-13
Received[2.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreComedy / Romance
Websitehttp://www.theback-upplan.com/
Jennifer Lopez (“Monster-in-Law” and “Maid in Manhattan”) pulls out all the stops in this romantic comedy that provides enough funny and touching moments to make it worthwhile viewing.

Zoe (Lopez) has dated hundreds of guys over the past five years and been unable to find the elusive one to settle down with and start a family. She decides to make things happen on her own by turning to a frozen bottle of sperm.

After being artificially inseminated by Dr. Scott Harris (comedian Robert Klein), she gets into a taxi on a rainy afternoon at the same time as Stan (Australian Alex O’Loughlin from “The Shield”). They argue over the rights to be transported to their destination.

Their paths cross again when she accompanies her advice-giving best friend Mona (Michaela Watkins) to an outdoor farmers market. Stan is selling organic cheese from his upstate dairy farm. They start dating and she finds out she is pregnant. The tough decision is whether to tell Stan about her condition.

The movie puts a nice spin on things happening backwards. She gets pregnant before meeting the guy, falling in love and getting married.

The movie is directed by Alan Poul (“Six Feet Under”) and written by Kate Angelo (“Will & Grace”). It goes to extremes and blows out of proportion the hormonal mood swings, voracious appetite and weight gain experienced by a woman over the course of nine months.

Lopez has a photogenic countenance that makes you fall in love with her character. She owns a pet store and shares her apartment with an adorable Boston terrier named Nuts, who uses wheels to support his back legs. A single mother’s support group and a massive pregnancy pillow are thrown into the comedic mix.

O’Loughlin is a handsome hunk whose love and devotion seems too good to be true. Lopez and O’Loughlin have such great chemistry that you hope their characters stick together through thick and thin. The movie is breezily paced, tightly edited and effectively makes use of the Manhattan exteriors. A pleasant soundtrack of upbeat tunes includes Lopez performing “What is Love?”

The supporting cast includes Linda Lavin (“Alice”), Tom Bosley (“Happy Days”) and Anthony Anderson (“Law & Order”). The magical life-affirming joy provided on screen will primarily appeal to the estrogen set, but guys contemplating fatherhood will get schooled in an entertaining way on what to expect.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"

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