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The Back-Up Plan

Combining pregnancy and dating doesn't generate many fresh laughs

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J. Lo (a.k.a. Jennifer Lopez) reminds me of Madonna, in that they both seem to function best as a celebrity concept. But break 'em down into parts -- singing, dancing, acting, choosing movies to star in -- and their appeal utterly escapes me. Maybe it's because she's now a tabloid mommy that Lopez signed on to this insipid, cliché-riddled rom-com about pregnancy, from Alan Poul. Lopez portrays a successful, gorgeous Manhattanite who can't find a man (but, of course!), so she just shrugs and gets artificially inseminated. On the exact same day, she meets the dreamy Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), who has the yummiest job she could care less about. (He makes artisanal goat cheese.) The thin story has the smitten Stan signing on to the relationship, before stopping and starting as each party variously gets cold feet. This plot's been done to death, so there will be no points awarded for guessing how it plays out. I did note, though, how the 2010 version couldn't be more explicit about presenting having a baby as simply another lifestyle choice for today's Fully Realized Woman. And in this scheme, the attendant baby-daddy seems to count for little except being on the good-extras-to-have checklist next to Cute Dog and Custom-made Stroller.

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