Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Backup Plan [2010]

The thing about romantic comedies is that they are mindless fun – and I find it hard to come down hard on them and beat the shit out of them – like a film such as Get Him to the Greek. After all – they are not meant for me – they are meant to please girlfriends of people like me. So, even though I count them as a movie I watched – I zone out through most of them – and enjoy the company.

For those of you not familiar with the modern romantic comedy: The girl meets the guy – she dislikes him at first – he charms her - then they hook up – they fight – it looks as though they won’t get together even though they were “meant to be” – and at the end he comes running in and admits his mistakes and they embrace and happily ever after. Harmless fluff!

So, as I was polishing up my “review” yesterday of Get Him to the Greek – which I admit I had been sitting on for a while (I’m a lazy blogger) – I was considering calling it the worst film of the year. To cover my bases – I started looking at lists of films that came out over the course of 2010 – and that’s when I remembered – Get Him to the Greek was stupid and made me hurt – but J.Lo’s The Backup Plan was much much worse.

“Harmless fluff” you say! Well, yes – most of them are. Let me see if I can articulate what makes The Backup Plan different – and worthy or ridicule as opposed to my usual indifference.

J.Lo decides she wants a baby – she gets fertilized – then meets the “man of her dreams” – then passively aggressively throws it in his face and if he turns her away he’s a shallow prick instead of a man over-his-head who was looking to get to know this new girl instead of committing to her and a child for a lifetime. How this is romantic – I’m not sure. There’s no big flirt that goes on through the course of the film and makes you really think that this is going to be a story of two people who need to be together. It’s basically: “I’m having a sperm bank baby – you can be insensitive and leave me or you can be strong and stay!” – “Well, don’t think that I will be scared off by that! I’m not scared of babies!”

Yes, that’s dumb – but whatever – right? Yeah, I would’ve just let it go too – but later the big romantic comedy fight was about the fact that the guy told J.Lo that she’s not carrying his baby. This pissed her off and then they break-up. Could there have been a more artificial fight? The whole film is predicated on the fact that they are together despite her being pregnant with a sperm bank baby. Did J.Lo forget this?

They try to write it off as a hormonal thing – but that’s a slap in the face to female kind. How often do you see a female character make a poor decision based on so many different factors in films – and how often does it occur that the writers play the ‘dues ex machina’ card and call it female hormones? I could not think of a more chauvinistic piece of shit plot device. Plot twist – it was written by a woman - Kate Angelo! I’m personally hoping that she wrote the spec script – and the entire film got carried away into the wrong direction – just for her own well-being.

Now, I could leave it at that – because if it was only that bad – Get Him to the Greek had an equally stupid break-up scene – and an even dumber reuniting scene – but then it threw in childish insert stuff up your butt jokes. What could be worse than butt jokes? How about someone taking a big shit in a pool while giving birth and forcing the main characters to watch for no reason? How comedic! Yes! Poop jokes are worse than butt jokes in my book!

I’m reminded by my girlfriend that “shit happens” when giving birth – which is true – but to base a joke around it in a movie? To have people hold the main characters heads in a place so they have to watch the poop joke unfurl? Why? Is this movie a sweet romantic comedy or a gross out film?

Before I get it thrown into my face that rom-com’s are generally unrealistic and stupid – can you please take step back and consider basic reason – which is what’s missing in this film. Not asking for Hitchcock or Kurosawa – I’m looking for basic common sense.

You throw in the fact that my girlfriend despised the film too – said it “sucked” calling it “painful” & “terribly predictable and an unrealistic fairytale” – it failed at what its purpose was to be harmless fluff entertainment. Thus, I feel it is fair game – and I will place this at the very bottom of the list of films I’ve seen this year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers!

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