The Back-Up Plan

April 24, 2010

My dearest Jennifer Lopez,

A romantic comedy shouldn’t make the viewer feel sick and dirty afterward. Yet leaving The Back-Up Plan, my only thought was for an eyeflush station and a priest. There is still this dark cloud of Too-Much-Information hanging over me, and when I think back to the movie and some of its scenes, I shiver like a chihuahua in an icebox.

I don’t want to relive the most disturbing moments, but I would like to inquire about the vomit focus. Everyone  throws up—you vomit repeatedly from morning sickness, you vomit at the restaurant, a woman at the gym vomits, the dog vomits up the chunk of pregnancy stick, and I vomited during your friend’s water-birthing scene. Perhaps that’s where the movie’s title comes into play? Everything comes “back up” the esophagus once the movie starts.

I know, Jennifer, that your character tried her best to be sunny and hopeful throughout, despite all the wretching and despite being single and pregnant and surrounded by horrible child-hating friends. You have the potential to be a funny romantic comedy lead (I won’t deny that I laughed several times), but when you choose a dopey leading man like this one, you can’t win. Alex O’Loughlin (Stan) thinks he’s coming off as Prince Charming when in reality he’s an irritating finger-pointing cheese farmer. He never considers your feelings but rather dwells continually on how your baby is going to alter his all-important gouda-ridden life. He moves from crisis to crisis, and from cheese to cheese, and I’m supposed to care? The movie completely shifted away from your problems and onto his: Oh he froze during his precious exam. Oh the stroller’s too big and he hates it. Oh your pillow bugs him—he’d better throw it out the window because you’re not giving him enough attention. Listen, if he threw MY pillow out the window, I’d slam that window down on his neck so fast he’d shoot cheese out of his crack.

It really is so bizarre near the end of the film when you tell him you’re madly in love with him. WHY are you? What’s he done to deserve that? My only conclusion: you must really like cheese.

My condolences on The Back-Up Plan. In the cheese wheel of romantic comedies, this movie is limp Saputo cheddar.

Paula Jane


  1. Lisa said

    Hysterical! I gouda admit…you just saved me 10 bucks! Movies about erupting orifices and disruptive males, I can do without!

  2. I have to agree. I also seem to recall if it wasn’t vomit it was for lack of a better term “poo”. I suppose it was the only original aspect of it, a romantic comedy that incorporates both vomit and fecal matter as major players in the plot of a film.

    • Paula Jane said

      Yes, very original. I think it’s what’s called a “poomantic comedy.”

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