Friday, April 23, 2010

Bizarro World Movie Reviews -- The Back-up Plan

Romantic comedies are one of the things that help us get through the insanity and casual tragedy of everyday life. No matter how we are feeling, a good romantic comedy can make our day brighter. If we are in a foul mood, it make it good. If we are in a good mood, it can make it better. We love being swept away to a fantasy world in which even a horribly mismatched couple comes to realize that each one is the other's soulmate. While we watch their improbable journey, we often laugh, sometimes cry and come out feeling satisfied. I would like to say that this is what happens in Jennifer Lopez's new comedy The Back-up Plan but it's not. The Back-up Plan is not even what I would call a movie. I would call it the event of a lifetime.

If you can only do one thing for the rest of your life, see The Back-up Plan. If the choice this weekend is going to your child's funeral or seeing The Back-up Plan, pick the latter. To say it will change your life does not do this cinematic experience justice. Rather, it will become so integrated into who and what you are that it will become your life. Some critics might say that it takes the romantic comedy and turns the genre on its ear. I say it takes the romantic comedy, forces it to the ground and fills its every orifice with life changing awesomeness.

At first glance, The Back-up Plan appears to be trite, predictable, dull, stupid and, to top it off, misogynistic. It looks pretty much that way on the second glance too, and the third. After enough glances, however, the film's true meaning and spirit emerge and you are transported to a world a lot like Heaven, only better. Jennifer Lopez doesn't act so much as she becomes the character of Zoe, a woman who lives through an all-too-common scenario of getting pregnant through artificial insemination, finding the man of her dreams, hiding the fact that she's pregnant when she starts dating him, confesses shortly after the first time they have sex, experiences nine months of comic hijinks that puts their relationship in jeopardy, loses the guy then gets him back through even more unlikely comic hijinks. I'm sure many women reading this gasped and thought, "This is the story of my life."

But it's not just the story of your life. Rather, it's the story of all our lives. Be you a top Wall Street banker or a bushman in the Australian Outback, you will be touched and maybe even transformed by The Back-up Plan. You will wonder how you can be more like Zoe and what you can possibly do that matches even a fraction of the spirit, grace and humor she possesses as she conceals from her boyfriend that fact that she's knocked up, does something that results in a relationship ending misunderstanding then defies all the odds and lives happily ever after with the love of her life all the while ignoring the advice of her somewhat slutty functioning alcoholic best friend.

After what will surely be repeated viewings, The Back-up Plan will become the plan for your entire life and the simple wisdom of Jennifer Lopez and whoever the hell else is in the movie will become the building blocks you will use to elevate yourself from a drab and hopeless existence into a a new personal Utopia. Plus, there's a gross scene where a woman gives birth underwater. I bet that's funny.

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