The Back Up Plan

I’ve always thought that Jennifer Lopez was a kind of puertorriqueña Eva Peron. Behind that polished and fragrant exterior, I fear she’s grasping, focussed, ruthless, charmless, vindictive and utterly without mercy to those who stand in her way (or are foolish enough to paint her dressing room the wrong shade of white.) If you cross her, she’ll mow you down, kick your corpse and dump your cement-weighted body off the nearest pier without even breaking a nail. I reckon she has a temper that’d melt glass, and I believe Marc Anthony‘s so skeletal because she keeps him chained and subdued in the basement where she sucks out his life-spirit whenever she damn well feels like it. Yet all of this is in contrast to her undeniably quirky, kindly, funny screen image – the latest incarnation of which is on display in the quite sweet Back Up Plan.

In the film, La Lopeza plays a lonely, thirty-something singleton who goes the artificial insemination route, only to meet the man of her dreams in a yellow cab. It’s an implausible enough plot, stretched reeeeeaaaaaalllly thin, but it’s actually quite a nice movie, and Mad Jen and the Aussie lead are watchable enough to while away an hour or so.

Although the production did shoot in New York – Fifth Avenue along Central Park, at the Tribeca Farmer’s Market, on Park Avenue, along the brownstones of Greenwich Village, and at Gray’s Papaya (indeed, a real place) on Sixth Avenue – the bulk of the action was produced on a Californian studio backlot. A farm in the Santa Monica mountains doubled for Stan’s farm in Upstate New York and Pasadena’s Elks’ Lodge served as the interior of the grandmother’s Shady Brook Retirement Center.

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