There's an old saying that goes, "find a penny, pick it up; all day long, you'll see Jennifer Lopez eat chili with her bare hands." Maybe I don't have that right, but neither does The Back-Up Plan -- a gross-out yuck-fest disguised as a generic Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy. The image on the poster features Lopez playfully covering the eyes of her co-star Alex O'Loughlin, perhaps to spare him the carnival of vomit, feces, and vaginal blood that this movie mistakes for actual comedy writing.

I will give the filmmakers a little credit for not having the entire movie build up to the big moment where Lopez, as wealthy pet shop owner Zoe, reveals to her new beau, chiseled goat herder Stan (O'Loughlin), that she's pregnant with a test tube baby. The film opens with her in the stirrups, longing to create a family she can call her own, but immediately afterward she meets Stan, a perfect fairy-tale prince of a man, who picks up pennies for good luck, makes his own cheese, plows with his shirt off, and dreams of owning his own sustainable food boutique in New York City.

You might assume that the film becomes a wacky comedy of errors, as Zoe tries to hide her pregnancy from Stan, while the two fall in love, leading to the time-tested "but I love you anyway" confession from Stan once he finds out he's a surprise daddy to a kid he never expected. Strangely, that's not what The Back-Up Plan has in store. Instead it becomes a female riff on Knocked Up, about a young couple's struggles with impending parenthood, while the two are still in the brand new getting-to-know-you phase of their relationship.
categories Reviews, Cinematical