From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Back-up Plan - D

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language, 102 minutes

Lopez drops her baby movie bomb with "The Back-Up Plan"

If considering seeing the new Jennifer Lopez movie "The Back-Up Plan" you better have a good plan B in place, as in seeing another movie. Although I've never given birth before, I have no doubt that watching this movie is nearly as painful as childbirth itself. No pun intended, but "The Back-Up Plan" is a labored, badly executed and just plain sorry excuse for a romantic comedy. Those heralding Lopez's return to the big screen after 3 years will be greatly disappointed.

Successful entrepreneur Zoe (Lopez) approaching middle-age and still single and childless. With her biological time clock clicking faster and faster every day, she decides to go it alone and become artificially impregnated. On that very day, she meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), who becomes her soulmate. Though Stan is committed to stay and help Zoe with her children, she's still afraid he'll leave at any moment, though in the process she realizes she may be the one with commitment issues.

"The Back-Up Plan" is a dreadful, icky and woefully unfunny and boring romantic comedy that is sparse in both laughs and chemistry between the handsome leads. Lopez only proves that she's not an actress, but a likable performer who shows up in movies from time to time. Her vacuous expressions and lack of depth as an actress prove she needs a superior script and careful direction to excel, neither of which happens here. And poor handsome O'Loughlin, a decent actor who's had unfortunate luck lately, especially after his failed attempts on TV ("Moonlight" and "Three Rivers"). His character is also the most miswritten; he states he's cynical toward love but aggressively (and in a somewhat creepy way) pursues Lopez's character.

Without a few nice (but too brief) comic bits from Anthony Anderson ("Law & Order") and "Saturday Night Live" alum Michaela Watkins, this would be completely unwatchable. Also, watch for TV veterans Linda Lavin ("Alice") and "Happy Days" Tom Bosley (who either looks awful in real life or received a bad makeup job) in small roles. Zoe's venture to a single mom's support group is not only unnecessary it's terribly unfunny, and a related birthing scene involving the group (and thankfully, it's not Lopez's birthing scene) is just plain creepy.

Lopez is a genuinely likable performer, and she's been everywhere lately, from George Lopez's talk show to "Saturday Night Live" to "How I Met Your Mother," in hopes of giving the film some good publicity. But there's nothing that can help the train wreck that is "The Back-Up Plan" and unless you're really a devoted, loyal Lopez fan, stay far away from this. Lopez should get her acceptance speech ready for the "Worst Actress" Razzie Award.