THE BACK-UP PLAN (12A) * DIRECTED BY: ALAN POUL STARRING: JENNIFER LOPEZ, ALEX O'LOUGHLIN, MICHAELA WATKENS, ANTHONY ANDERSON
HAS any actress made as swift and complete a transition from credible to crap as Jennifer Lopez? Smart and smoking hot in U-Turn and Out of Sight, she consigned herself to rom-com hell with The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan and – oh dear – Gigli, before actually drifting out of sight with little-seen dramas like An Unfinished Life and the never-released Bordertown.
The Back-up Plan is supposed to be her big comeback movie, but instead of choosing to challenge herself by working with the likes of Steven Soderbergh again, she's decided to encroach once more on Sandra Bullock territory, little realising that people actually like Bullock, even when she's in terrible movies.
The same can't be said of J-Lo, and The Back-up Plan is nothing if not a terrible movie. With a ticking biological clock, and relationship-sabotaging daddy issues, pet-shop owner Zoe (Lopez) decides to be artificially inseminated before she misses her chance to become a mother. On the very day she falls pregnant, however, she meets the hunky guy of her dreams (Alex O'Loughlin). High concept duly and dully established, the film mechanically runs through its meet-guy/drive-guy-away/reconcile-with-guy plot with the same charmless and clinical efficiency as Zoe's method of conception.