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The Back-up Plan Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Pregnancy for Dummies. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Plan C: Watch something else. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    When it comes to comedies about pregnancy, "Knocked Up" and "Baby Mama" delivered more. This sitcom style exercise in planned parenthood is blandly predictable. If it were a cheese, it would be Velveeta.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This is the film to watch when pretty much everything else has been sold out and the only remaining choices are The Back-Up Plan and the latest Rob Schneider opus.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Jennifer Lopez carries this thin concept about as far and as well as she can, with Alex O'Loughlin in his first leading-man outing managing not to get lost in the shuffle.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As a romantic comedy, The Back-up Plan is friendly but also a bit drab.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Back-up Plan reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 15 & under

J.Lo romcom bursts with frank pregnancy, sex talk.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Back-up Plan is a romantic comedy that deals frankly with sex and pregnancy, even though it contains very little actual nudity and the story itself is fairly chaste. There is one notable scene of a natural birth in which a naked, pregnant woman squats in an inflatable swimming pool; in one brief shot (played for comedy), her entire body is visible through the water. The movie also contains strong language, including one "f--k" and at least half-a-dozen uses of "s--t." Ultimately, the gruesome details of childbirth and looming parenthood may be unappealing and perhaps even terrifying to teens, but some parents may find something to laugh about.

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays pregnancy. Teens: What opinions did this movie leave you with about pregnancy and parenthood? Was this a realistic scenario?
  • Do you think this movie reinforces or challenges any stereotypes about male-female relationships? How do romantic comedies, in general, portray intimate relationships?
  • Teens: Could you relate to any of the experiences or ideas about taking care of kids that came up in the movie? How did this movie portray kids and the practice of caring for them?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie's ultimate point is that couples should learn to communicate and trust one another before jumping to conclusions and assuming anything. The lead characters must overcome many obstacles -- often related to the complexity of having children -- before they achieve this. Unfortunately, the movie can also be somewhat cynical and has the side effect of making childbirth and parenthood look unappealing.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The characters in the movie are fairly flimsy, with narrow behavior patterns. Stan is annoying, but once he decides to stay with the pregnant Zoe, he sticks to his guns throughout, no matter how tough it gets for him.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: There are some arguments and some shouting, and a few moments of slapstick, but nothing major.

  • sex false3

    Sex: There is very frank talk about sex and pregnancy, including the names of body parts and some unfortunate little details (such as uncontrollable bowel movements during a birth). The main character, Zoe, is artificially inseminated through a sperm donor, and we see and hear about this process. There's a scene of a natural birth (played for laughs) that includes a shot of a pregnant woman squatting naked in an inflatable pool; everything is visible through the water. Otherwise, the main couple (Zoe and Stan) flirts, kisses, and has sex, though nothing is shown. Zoe has a noisy orgasm, and Stan appears shirtless in one scene. In another scene, Zoe checks out her pregnant body in the mirror, but ducks out of sight a second later.

  • language false3

    Language: We hear strong, but not constant language, including one "f---k" and at least half-a-dozen uses of "s--t." Also in earshot: "Oh my God," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "vagina," "pee," "sperm," "ass," "stupid," "penis," "damn," "hell," "bitch," "douchebag."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The couple likes to eat at Gray's Papaya, a real hot dog restaurant in New York. But otherwise, not an issue.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Zoe and Stan drink some wine during a date. Zoe's best friend Mona guzzles a glass of champagne in one scene, for comic effect. No one gets drunk. Zoe does not drink while pregnant.