‘The Back-Up Plan’: A Funny and Heartfelt Romance. A review of the rom-com with Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin. All text © Rissi JC

‘The Back-Up Plan’: A Funny and Heartfelt Romance

September 6, 2011 11 Comments

Sometimes, a comical premise isn’t enough to save a movie that doesn’t know when to stop. The Back-Up Plan is kind of an odd mix of this, but it did sound funny enough for my mom and I to be interested. Plus the opening credit concept is really cute.

The Back-Up Plan (2010) Film Review

All the good guys are either, married, previously attached or just not interested. This Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) notices. Already a woman with difficulty letting anyone get too close, she feels like if she doesn’t act quickly, her dreams of being a mother may slip away. So instead of the marriage bit coming first, she decides to take matters into her own hands. First she approaches best friend Clive (Eric Christian Olsen) to be a donor for her, when he refuses, she uses an anonymous donor to fulfill her dream. She then meets the irresistibly perfect gentleman Stan (Alex O’ Loughlin). After multiple chance meetings and Stan’s persistence, Zoe begins to second guess her pregnancy, only the procedure did take. This forces Zoe to tell Stan the truth, even as she realizes she’ll never see him again.  

Feeling confused about being a dad before a relationship has a chance, Stan decides to give it a go because while with Zoe, he feels like they’re right. So he returns with a stack of pregnancy how-to books and a carton of ice cream. Life quickly becomes a maze of doctor visits and shopping for the elusive perfect stroller, but the longer they are together, the more they quarrel… and the deeper they fall.


For those of us who like entertainment to be just that, this film may be a turn off. There’s a decent amount of vulger content. That said, there IS a heartwarming story here. This does have its cute moments, but the comedy comes at the expense of a less than good view of marriage. Additionally, some of us might not appreciate the films take on motherhood either. One woman claims to “hate” her children; a father claims parenthood is awful, and nearly everyone discourages Stan and Zoe from having children. It’s funny, but also a little bit sad.

Really, I don’t dislike the movie. In fact, the more I’ve re-watched it, the more I appreciate its heartwarming nature and there is a genuine affection between our leading couple. The acting is decent and it’s fun to see the late Tom Bosley in something, Also fun is seeing Alex O’Loughlin in a rom-com (from Hawaii Five-O). Lopez is charming as ever and she plays off Alex well.  This ‘plan’ might not be something I’ll readily recommend to everyone, but it is pretty cute (but The Proposal, this isn’t). It’s also enjoy to watch on ClearPlay if that’s more your thing.

The Back-Up Plan is fun at the heart of its story, and it has an extremely high rating on Amazon, too! There’s lots of cute rom-com trope moments and of course, its leading stars make everything seem genuine.

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You can find The Back-Up Plan digitally on Amazon Video

Jennifer Lopez and 'Hawaii Five-O' star Alex O'Loughlin co-star in this 2010 #romcom. ‘The Back-Up Plan’: A Funny and Heartfelt Romance. #FWArchives #Movies #Comedy #PopularMovies Click To Tweet

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Content: an uncomfortable birthing scene is on-screen, which puts Zoe on edge during her pregnancy. [Zoe falls into the water and the camera isn’t shy about showing several scenes while the mother gives birth, including a reflective shot of the baby emerging]. Dozens of references to male/female anatomy are discussed during doctor visits, and everyone is pretty frank about the birthing process; there’s various sexual jokes. Stan and Zoe share a bed – including sleeping together after only two dates. There is an f-word, several uses of sh*t, a**, da*n, and even taking the Lord’s name in vain, in various forms. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Ruth September 7, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Hey Rissi! Thanks for linking to my review! I haven't watched this since I wrote my initial post (keep meaning to, just haven't gotten around to it yet). I think you make some excellent points here — as someone who does not take their "moral cues" from Hollywood, I can watch this and for entertainment purposes — and while it can be crass, there's a certain heartbeat underneath it all that I remember liking. One of those to recommend with caution, I guess I could say. ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Rissi September 7, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    I did "like" the movie, Ruth, but thought it could have used some "filtering" in the content. (Actually, I did see it edited, but the trailers and other reviews were telling on their own.)

    Yes, it does have some cute moments, and I'd watch it again, but it certainly wasn't my favorite "rom-com." I hope you enjoy it whenever you see it again, and who knows? – a second viewing may even improve my opinion of it. =)

    The link… you're welcome! I had been meaning to ask you if it was okay if I ocassionally did that and never got around to it. I think I'd seen you link to other places on your blog, so I assumed you wouldn't mind, but if you did, I would remove it without question. My intention is to link to other blogs once I get more "established" and learn more about blogging. Or that is what I'd like to do. =D

    Thanks for dropping by, Ruth; as always, I enjoy the opinions and comments.

  • Ella September 7, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    Ruth, I really appreciate what you said about how we can watch a movie and yet, it doesn't automatically change our convictions. I know I have those types of movies. Frankly, anything that involves sex outside of marriage does that to me….but I do enjoy some of those films.

    I saw the end of "the Game Plan" on TV once…and it seemed cute. But I much preferred "The Proposal" over what I saw….

    Have I told you lately how much I enjoy reading what movies you put up?!

  • Charity September 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Maybe because I really like Alex O'Laughlin, I hated this movie all the more because I felt humiliated for him acting in something like this; every time it tried to be funny, it failed because it fell into crassness. I saw it unedited and man, was I uncomfortable squirming my way through it. Ugh.

  • Rissi September 7, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Ella – I am all the time saying what Ruth mentioned about movies. If you cannot look at a movie as "entertainment" and nothing more, than one should probably not watch anything. The sad part is, most kids who watch these movies don't have good influences telling them this.

    Yeah, unless you see this edited, I cannot say it's worth the time. I did enjoy it, but like I said, it isn't "The Proposal." =)

    Charity – maybe you should try watching it a second time but edited…? I would see it again but only if watched on Clearplay, otherwise, I'd tend to agree with you – it isn't great.

    Great thoughts everyone, as always! =D

  • Charity September 8, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    I've been thinking I should give it another go on my ClearPlayer… I might like it better without all the crass childbirthing stuff. =)

  • Ruth September 8, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Hiya people! Great discussion I think! :)

    Rissi – It's absolutely okay if you ever link to my blog, in fact I am thrilled & honored whenever that happens! So thank you! And I think you're doing a terrific job here. :)

    I do strive to be discerning in my movie and TV watching — sometimes with more success than others. The Back-Up Plan is one of the films that pushes the envelope a bit more than my "norm," if you will — I think it's because of the heartbeat beneath the shenanigans.

    I do hope ya'll won't think less of me for admitting this, but the home childbirth scene had me laughing so hard I was crying in the theater — I can't hide it, sometimes my sense of humor is FAR FAR less than high-brow… :P

  • Rissi September 9, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Charity – it IS definitely better without all the crude humor. Check it out sometime.

    Ruth – no, I most certainly do not think less of you. =) Actually, even edited they left a lot of the “home birth” scene in the movie. They just trimmed a few of the more “graphic” bits out. I don’t think that was what bugged me about the movie (really, I just laugh at those sorts of scenes in movies because they are so darn over-dramatized). For me, what would have REALLY annoyed me was to listen to all the crude dialogue. That is what annoys me most. I can take a well-done “suggestive” scene that only lasts a minute – tops as opposed to continuous crummy dialogue. "Back-Up Plan" does push the PG13 rating, but yet, it does have a good heart; one just has to look a little harder.

    Thank you for your kind words: they are so encouraging to a just-getting-started-blogger. =)

    And, yes, Ruth is right: great thoughts everyone – I love reading them.

  • Rissi September 9, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    …and, I am pleased it's okay to link to Booktalkandmore! I always love to read your reviews, Ruth. =)

  • […] FILM REVIEW | ‘The Back-Up Plan’: A Funny and Heartfelt Romance […]

  • […] When You’re Expecting. Never thought I would, but there you have it. If you enjoy films like The Back-Up Plan or Life as We Know It, you’ll find something funny in this as well as […]

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