Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

May 14, 2010

Pregnant pause!

Filed under: Their Films — admin @ 2:45 pm

May 14, 2010

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Michaela Watkins

Director: Alan Poul

Jennifer Lopez is sexy, and sure she can carry a tune. But – as films like Gigli, The Wedding Planner and Maid In Manhattan have proved — acting, particularly in romantic comedies, is not her thing. And yet she returns with another one!

In The Back-Up Plan, the artist formerly known as ‘Jenny From The Block’ plays a whiney pet-shop owner who’s given up on love, but desperately wants to have a baby. Prepared to raise a child as a single mom, she gets herself artificially inseminated. And then — surprise, surprise — she meets the man of her dreams.

Now I don’t know about you, but I thought the premise of this film was extremely shallow to begin with: a woman, unlucky in love, decides to get pregnant against the better judgment of everyone around her; and then the moment she meets Mr Right, she seems to regret the whole baby idea.

Worse still, you’d think someone who’s decided to go out and get herself artificially inseminated would know what a pregnancy involves, but this imbecile spends half the film moaning and groaning about her bum getting too fat, about morning sickness, and about how repulsed she is by the sight of childbirth itself.

Hello lady, you should’ve Googled all this before landing up at the sperm bank!

The truth is, even if you overlook how tasteless this scenario is, it still doesn’t work because there’s nothing to the story apart from her boyfriend breaking up with her about three times in the film.

The fellow in question is played by Australian newbie Alex O’Loughlin, who flirts with Lopez at the farmer’s market where he sells cheese for a living. In a later scene when she sees him shirtless, riding a tractor in his farm, she’s so distracted she rams her car into a tree. That’s the kind of humor this film expects you to laugh at.

There are other gags – her dog swallows her pregnancy test, she rips her dress when she bends down to pick up a lipstick, and at least a half-dozen instances of her falling down or bumping into things in her delicate state. I didn’t think any of it was funny.

Some of this damage might have been repaired if the two leads shared a crackling chemistry on screen; but Lopez and O’Loughlin have barely any spark between them, which is a pity because both are good-looking people, and everyone enjoys watching a good-looking couple in love.

By the time this film hurtles towards its predictable climax, you’re so bored you could scream out aloud and plead with them to make it stop. When it finally does end, you want to race to the exit at the cost of trampling over others’ feet.

I’m going with one out of five for The Back-Up Plan. Trivia buffs: if you pay close attention, perhaps you’ll catch the one quick appearance of Jennifer Lopez’s bare bum in the film. It’s not gratification enough for suffering this movie, however!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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