Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Back-Up Plan

The Flick: The Back-up Plan

The Participants: Jenny from the block, Alex O'Laughlin, Robert Klein, Linda Lavin (almost unrecognisably perfect as JLO's grammy!), etc.

The Dealio: Zoe (JLO), has reached a point in her life when she incessantly hears the increasingly blaring ticking of that ol' demon bio clock, and she, improbably, without a promising man in sight (Diagram that sentence, please, before moving on in the review). After first terrorising her sole male employee by asking him to be her baby-daddy, she comes to her senses and goes ahead with her bonafide back-up plan, and is inseminated by an anonymous doner. Naturally, this being a H'wood production, minutes later, she 'meets cute', relatively speaking, the fella who will become the man of her dreams, Stan (Alex O'Laughlin, whom I kept expecting to grow fangs and bite JLO's neck. Sorry, see what a little mental cross-pollination can do to movie-viewing?) . Let's get everyones resumes out of the way: Zoe left the corporate world-of course she did- to open a pet store, which, judging by her clothing, book-signing events and great home-space, is the most lucrative lifestyle swap since the Beverly Hillbillies. Stan, contestant #1, is an up and coming farmer,(yep, you read that correctly), who specialises in the creation of artisenal cheeses (yeah, read that correctly,too), while living on his inherited, sumptuous farm and ruing dropping out of school to help his family. He is currently struggling to finish up school at night, leaving him in severe sleep deficit, and unable to pass a basic economics course (I kept expecting the ex-Miz Biz tycoon to step in and help a bruthah out, but, man! that just never happened).
On with the story: naturally, three things happen in quick-step: the insemination 'takes', Zoe falls for Stan, and vice versa, and before you can say, 'snafu!' they are on the outs because he thinks she is nuts and she thinks he has a short attention span. Oh, yeah, and after a lovely evening in the cheese-barn (yes, yes, yes, you read this correctly) followed by a literal roll in the hay, he invents a cheese inspired by her. (YES! You read that correctly).
Spoiler alert! Needless to say, eventually, after she wipes out a tree on his property and spills red wine all over her silk dress, and falls asleep during the econ final, they realise they were meant for each other. Lots of relatively cute and funny things happen along the way. Read on...if you dare.

The Grading Session: 3.998 pengies out of 5. This is not a bad movie, or a movie you should go out of your way to avoid...or go out of your way to see. But it is a harmless, familiar tale with a few really interesting contributions: as mentioned previously, Linda Lavin has now reached the point in her career where she can beautifully and appropriately play a grandmother. This, initially, really shocked me. Until I recalled that I, too, would be age-appropriate for this role. If I could act. Which I can not. Robert Klein was extremely engaging as Zoe's OB/GYN. The scene where he attempts to desensitise Stan about the entire process is one of the most entertaining in the entire film. And then, there is the presence of Cesar Millan (playing himself) at a book-signing at Zoe's pet shop. This, alone, was worth the price of admission. Although, I admit to a certain disappointment that he did not do his trademark 'TSSSSST!' when a clear opportunity presented itself.
As an ex OB/GYN /delivery room nurse myself, I must lodge one complaint that I see duplicated with dismaying regularity in such romcoms. Here 'tis: is it really necessary to portray 'alternative birthing methods' as the exclusive domain of nutters and extremists? I am fed up to my teeth with having to sit in an audience, listening to roars of laughter, fuelled by depictions of aggressive, crazed women pursuing their personal versions of 'natural childbirth'. It's almost an allergic reaction, I spoze, on the part of sceen-writers to the 40's-50's cinematic representation of childbirth as a clean, neat, sterile, soft-focus event that has nothing to do with hard work or bodily fluids. Is there no amusing place in between absent trotting out, once more the dog-eared stereotype of the aggressive, man-hating, borderline-lunacy depicted-for a laugh-as the modern day version/vision of childbirth? I'm just sayin'.
Whew. Gotta climb back off that soap box. Um. Sorry. Had to be done. I'm better now, though.

Lessons Learned: Women like those portrayed by JLO and similar actresses- women who are successful, beautiful and high-profile-apparently can't seem to get dates, let alone find/hang onto a long term relationship worth the investment of time and emotion. Who knew? Also- there is as much art in the creation of cheeses as in the creation of paintings, sculptures and other, more traditional art forms. This one I happen to agree with, because I feel the same about my toiletries. Art plus science. See?
And, finally, this: it will follow as surely as the night doth the day (as Willie the Shake hath said) that the nanosecond a woman opts for (successful) insemination, the man of her dreams will pop up beside her and sweep her off her feet and into a terrific relationship...sometimes artisenal cheese in hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment