Movie review: "The Back-Up Plan"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Admittedly, I'm not part of the target audience for "The Back-Up Plan," the new Jennifer Lopez comedy that sets out to make viewers ovulate in unison.

It's the bastard child of a Nora Ephron rom-com and a maternity comedy, with neither parent providing many laughs. This bun could have used a little more time in the oven.

Zoe (Lopez) is a thirtysomething who never found her Mr. Right but is ready for parenthood. On the way home from her artificial insemination, she meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), a handsome cheese farmer with whom she shares some witty love/hate banter in a shared cab.

After an absurdly romantic first date and a weekend farm getaway, Zoe falls hard for Stan. But how will he cope with the news that she's pregnant? Hilarity ensues.

Brimming with cliche, "Back-Up" is entirely too lazy in both the romance and comedy departments. Romantically, you get a few lines of stilted banter meant to set up head-over-heels love. Comedically, the biggest laughs come from a hippie-tastic water birth.

If you've been waiting for J. Lo's return to the rom-com glory days of "Maid in Manhattan," wait no more. She's passable, though still not all that great at comedy. Loughlin is decent if forgettable - sort of like Hugh Jackman in romantic-comedy mode, complete with obligatory ab shots.

Lest you think this is merely my guy bias at work, my accompanying ladyfriend was only slightly more amused, and she has ovaries.

"The Back-Up Plan"

Opens Friday

Grade: C-