Jennifer Lopez as Zoe is a beautiful and talented woman who slummed in
this movie. The film had a disconcerting incongruity to it from the
beginning to the end. The opening title sequence is an animation
reminiscent of a 1960's movie. The cartoon of Lopez sees all kinds of
things in New York that reminds her of having a baby. The animation
segues to the live action of her being artificially inseminated. We
discover later in the movie that she made that choice because she had
no family since her mother died when she was a child and her father
abandoned her, leaving her grandmother (played by Linda Lavin of the
Alice TV series) to raise her. And she did not have much longer to
Both my wife and I enjoyed the movie in the very beginning, but it quickly became troubling to both of us. Exaggeration is a standard comedic technique for getting a laugh, and this film relies totally on exaggeration. So I don't think they were trying to put down families, but the use of exaggeration makes it come off that way. Every child is shown to be little monsters, which is not at all true. But they are trying to set up reasons for not wanting children. The disturbing message given by this is that families are a bad thing, or, at least incredibly difficult with very little reward. This theme is vocalized by the playground dad (Anthony Anderson) who tells Stan (Alex O'Laughlin) that raising kids is "Awful, awful, awful, awful, then momentarily incredible, followed by awful, awful, awful." Zoe (Lopez) goes to a single mother's support group where later she and Stan witness a live birth in a plastic pool of water. Exaggeration is used for the comedic effect, yet the resulting message is that child birth is a horrible experience that no woman should ever have to go through. This scene was the most repulsive scene in the movie, and the lowest point of the film.
Zoe has a pet dog who through inbreeding has a weakness in its hind legs that render them unusable. Consequently the animal is on wheels and the film-makers make fun of the animal as it tips over in one scene and rolls backward trying to climb up a hill in another. I only felt sadness for the creature and considered the humor cruel and pointless.
The main plot of the story is that Zoe doesn't think that she will meet Mr. Right so has her children by artificial insemination only to meet him the moment she leaves the fertility clinic. The story is the struggle of her trusting him to accept her and the babies. But from the audience point of view I found the whole scenario to be utterly stupid and unrealistic. When they agree to move in together, they both agree that it was without promise or conditions. She places expectation on him when they are only shacking up together and are not married! Why would any woman go through such angst when no commitment of marriage is given at all! All I could think was that she was a total moron who did not deserve any sympathy. Of course the movie ends with him finally asking her hand in marriage for the "happy ending" but I found the underlying message to be a total lie that one can enter a meaningful marriage relationship by the back door. It encourages gullible youth (especially naive girls) in thinking that they can live together before marriage as a path that will lead to marriage which statistically shows that is false.
What grieved me most, though, was not just the movie, but the audience. I was appalled that so many laughed at the jokes without offense. The dumbing down of Americans is so bad that trash like this movie would be entertaining. It was a total waste of my admission price. If you really need to see it, wait until it is on DVD and you only have to pay $1 at Redbox. My recommendation, though, is don't waste your time at all.
The Back-up Plan
Action / Comedy / Romance
The Back-up Plan
Action / Comedy / Romance
Zoe is a woman who has a hard time letting anyone into her life. She has a habit of pushing people away whenever they get close. She wants to have a baby but because she has no man in her life, she decides to be artificially inseminated. Shortly after having the procedure she meets a guy named Stan, and she feels a spark. When she tells him about her pregnancy, she thinks he'll bail but he sticks with her.
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January 15, 2013 at 07:13 PM