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Review: The Back-Up Plan

It's laughing all the way to the sperm bank
By ALICIA POTTER  |  April 28, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars

As a pregnant single woman, Jennifer Lopez glows spectacularly. Director Alan Poul’s bland baby comedy, however, appears to have been a light labor.

Starting with the banal meet-cute scenario: after a successful trip to the sperm bank, Lopez’s Zoe squabbles over a cab with Stan, a stubbly cheese farmer played by Gerard Butler stand-in Alex O’Loughlin. (We’re to ignore the phalanx of available taxis in the background.) A slogging nine months follows, as the two spark a tedious, rocky relationship based not on chemistry (there is none) but on Stan’s way with candles — lots and lots of candles.

The timid script by newcomer Kate Angelo skips no maternity cliché (hormones, barfing, Big Macs), though in the high-point water-birth scene, good sport Lopez does spawn a few laughs. That the film manages to be largely inoffensive seems faint praise — painful but not excruciating, it’s like a cinematic epidural.

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