The Back-up Plan

Rated PG-13 98 min. 2010

This is strictly a one-note high-concept premise with nowhere to go, and it arrives at the destination with seeming effortlessness. Jennifer Lopez is Zoe, a woman who dropped out of the corporate world to run a pet store. She also has abandonment and intimacy issues and a burning desire to have a family before her biological clock winds down. So she gets herself artificially inseminated, after which she immediately proceeds to “meet cute” with goat-farming cheesemaker Stan (Alex O’Loughlin). The script — realizing it needs to achieve feature length — likes this so much that the pair keeps running into each other before Zoe breaks down and goes on a date with the hunky purveyor of goat cheese. And once she sees him with his shirt off, she’s completely gaga (Zoe is very deep). The problem — as you know if you’ve seen the trailer — is that Zoe got pregnant on the first try. Apparently, it doesn’t usually happen this way, but thanks to clever scripting it does here. Will the lonely goatherder still want her if she’s pregnant with the child of some anonymous sperm donor? And there we have the entire crux of the rest of the movie. It’s like being trapped in the last two reels of a thousand rom-coms where they break up and they get back together — except here it keeps happening over and over. And before you ask the two most burning questions, no, Lopez never milks a goat, and, yes, Stan names a cheese after her. I am not at all sure how one should take the latter.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Alan Poul

Writer: Kate Angelo

Producer: Todd Black, Jason Blumentahl and Steve Tisch

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen, Noureen DeWulf, Donal Logue, Melissa McCarthy, Harold Gould, Jennifer Elise Cox, Linda Lavin and Michaela Watkins


The Back-up Plan

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