Back-Up Plan, The : The Back Up Plan DVD Review

Title: The Back Up Plan
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin
Released: 20th September 2010
Certificate: 15
Runtime: 104 minutes
Format: Blu-ray and DVD

Jennifer Lopez is Zoe, a single New Yorker who never met The One. Or at least not in time to have a baby. So she decides that it’s time to take things into her own hands and be artificially inseminated. However as soon as she walks out of the clinic she becomes involved in whirlwind romance with Stan (Alex O'Loughlin).

Directed by Alan Poul (TV’s “Six Feet Under”) The Back Up Plan is an unconventional tale about finding love, marriage and a baby – but not strictly in that order. Or at least it’s supposed to be. I’m not convinced that there is anything unconventional about it. Sure, the plot is a little bit different to your average rom-com but it’s no less easy to guess the ending or any of the events that will happen along the way.

Perhaps my biggest problem with The Back Up Plan is that it happily shows its viewers just about every possible thing that they probably never wanted to see. And I’m sure that it is not just me either. Who wants to see a dog vomit? Who wants to see a woman wheezing and growling her way through a home water-birth? Who wants to listen to single women whinging on about being single mothers? Without actually being anything like real life, The Back Up Plan is too real. I personally do not enjoy going to the cinema or watching films at home that depict real life too closely, for me cinema is about escapism – getting your dream job, finding true love, winning the Superbowl, getting revenge on the bad guy, becoming a superhero, or winning the battle of the bands. I have no interest in real life being too finely reflected in movies. Of course that’s a ridiculous thing to say, real life is in all great movies, but it’s the bits that you want not the bits that you hate and I think in The Back Up Plan the two central characters Zoe and Stan just seem to get all the bad things happening to them and very little of the good and then, they have to just make do and put up with the results.

Jennifer Lopez’s performance is OK. Nothing more nothing less, just OK, passable. Alex O’Loughlin – the relative newcomer here actually makes his character likable and charming… at least for a while… until he becomes slightly creepy. He’s going to need to work on that. But in general a decent performance.

Director Alan Poul ensures that all of the Hollywood gloss that you would expect with a big Hollywood release is evident. The direction itself isn’t horrible, it’s adequate. But the script could certainly have used a few tweaks. It’s simply too unbelievable.

If nothing else however The Back Up Plan does have one thing going for it – at least you’re not watching Jennifer Anniston and Gerard Butler in another flop of a rom-com. I hate them as a romantic duo. I’m not keen on them separately but who could ever have thought that putting them together would be a good idea? At least Jennifer Lopez has some genuine star quality, ever if it is as a singer and less so as an actor. Whilst O’Loughlin is infinitely less irritating than the wheezing red-faced Gerard Butler that viewers were tortured by seeing in The Ugly Truth. Oh. Katherine Heigl, she’s awful as well. Jo Lo ranks above her as well in my list.

The Back Up Plan looks great on blu-ray, colours are bright and the image is clear and crisp. Great picture quality is supposed to come as standard with blu-ray but it doesn’t always, but at least The Back Up Plan scores highly in this department, although the special features are a bit thin on the ground.

Author : Kevin Stanley