There should be a warning at the beginning of The Back-up Plan stating that it may harm the audience and set humanity back 50 years. Somehow it finds a way to insult single women, single mothers, parents in general, pet owners, and makes farmers, seniors, and men look stupid. Yup, it covers the whole spectrum in its rage-inducing 106 minute run time.

Unfortunate, because the concept is quite forward-thinking. Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), a successful pet store owner in New York City, hasn’t found the right man to settle down with. Feeling her biological clock is ticking, she takes matters into her own hands and is artificially inseminated. That’s where the forward-thinking portion of this film ends. In true Hollywood fashion, Zoe meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin), and in a matter of about two days falls in love and regrets her need for a baby. She struggles to tell him the truth and when she does he gets mad at her even though they’ve only known each other for about a week at this point. From there we learn that single mothers are all ugly lesbians who hate men, parents secretly hate their children, pet owners are weirdos, and a woman can’t raise a baby without a man.

Maybe I’m biased because I was raised by a single mother, but considering a woman (Kate Angelo) wrote the film I’m surprised she’s not more concerned that the subject matter threatens to set her gender back to the time before women could even vote. Everything about the film is damaging — it’s irresponsible storytelling disguised as a cute romantic comedy. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves, especially Angelo. I don’t even want to imagine what a teenage girl would think about her future after seeing this Hollywood dreck. I won’t even get into how much it angered me as a parent but I will say that if I ever felt as though I hated my kid I’d be more concerned about getting psychological help than joking about it.

Even though her music is not that great, and a majority of her movies are bad, I don’t mind Lopez and think she seems like a decent person. With that said, nothing, not even Gigli, has made me want to lock her in a room full of killer bees as much as her role in The Back-up Plan. And O’Loughlin, who sounded like a decent guy when I interviewed him, needs a new agent if he plans to make it on the big screen. I’d go as far as saying that if there is anything worse to come out this year the Apocalypse must be near.

Considering most of the people involved have a television background maybe this should have been a sitcom where it could play out over many seasons and let the characters grow. Or maybe it just shouldn’t have been made in any form as The Back-up Plan has nothing worth giving it even one star for.

Zero out of 5 stars

Rated PG
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin
Directed by:  Alan Poul
Official Site IMDb

brian.mckechnie@citynews.rogers.com

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Top image: A scene from The Back-up Plan. Courtesy Alliance Films.