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Timing is everything in 'Back-up Plan' Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Apr 23 2010 04:00 PM

"The Back-up Plan"is a comedy by director Alan Poul that makes light of bad timing.

This film tells the story of Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), a pet shop owner who has it all - well, not exactly. Zoe has decided that just because she hasn't found Mr. Right to add to her perfect life, that shouldn't stop her from having kids. So her back-up plan is to be artificially inseminated.

Then life kicks in and one  rainy afternoon she meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), and after several chance meetings they start seeing one another. A month into their dating Zoe realizes that she must tell Stan.

Stan decides he is in it for the long haul. From baby showers to birthing, from cravings to focal points, he and Zoe come to realize they don't know each other without hormones raging.

But, life is what happens while your making other plans and they have nine months to figure it all out.

Final word: Lopez is fine as Zoe. This is a genre of film that she has done over and over again. With that, there's no excuse for her not to get it right. She is charming and entertaining, which is exactly what the role calls for.

O'Loughlin is loveable and sweet as Stan. It's hard enough to fall in love, but to fall in love with an expectant woman take guts. He has his own issues, having been married previously to a Swedish nymphomaniac, and now has trust issues.

Other cast members include: Michaela Watkins as Mona, Eric Christen Olsen as Clive, Noureen DeWulf as Daphne, Melissa McCarthy as Carol and comedic talent Anthony Anderson as the playground dad.

There are three recognizable appearances: Tom Bosley as Arthur, Robert Klein as Dr. Scott Harris and Linda Lavin as Nana.

The screenplay is by Kate Angelo, who has an impressive resume in television writing for such winning sitcoms as "Will and Grace," "Becker" and "The Bernie Mac Show."

Tubs of popcorn: I give "The Back-up Plan" three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a predictable film that will get Lopez fans in the theaters. It has its feel-good moments, but half way through it is just another romantic comedy that will end just as the viewer predicts it will.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Hollywood needs to start bringing its A-game to keep viewers in love with this film genre. In the end it's love, marriage and baby - just not in that order.

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