Two Thumbs Up for JLo & “The Back-Up Plan”

Tonight was movie night in our house, as it is several times a week. The standard ritual is to obtain a decent cut of a movie from *The Internet Faeries* and then watch it big-screen style on our bedroom wall via laptop and projector. The movie offerings tend to be selected by The Old Man, because he has better Internet Faerie sources than I do. I’m generally at his mercy, and on any given day I could find myself being subjected to torture by Avatar, or throwing popcorn at the picture because Morgan Freeman has oozed his way into yet another movie, despite my repeated requests for him to go away and stop showing up in my movies.

After popping the Vat O’Corn and settling into bed, I watched The Old Man set up the movie. He then revealed his selection du jour:  “The Back-Up Plan”. With Jennifer Lopez. I groaned and rolled my eyes. Not only am I not a fan of JLo in any of her  film or musical incarnations in the past, but the trailers on TV were positively b-o-r-i-n-g. Still, a movie is a movie, and it beats the hell out of folding laundry or working on the niggling presentation sitting on my desk in point form. Fully expecting to either fall asleep or throw popcorn at the wall, I resigned myself to an hour and a half of making fun of cheesy schlock.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this movie is a vast understatement. I have not laughed so hard, for so long, or so often, in years. This film managed to induce a hysterical laughing fit that went on for about five minutes, left me hoarse, brought tears of hilarity to my eyes and made me pee my pants. (The latter isn’t hard to do, since I’ve had two kids, and Kegal proponents are a bunch of lying assholes.) A woman wrote the screen play: this is clear. That woman? She understands a thing or two about the inherent comedy that is a part of the natural birthing movement, extended breastfeeding, trans-vaginal ultrasounds and the detrimental effects on a woman’s body after pushing out a few kids.

The little details in this film make the movie fun. JLo’s facial expression while trying to muster up enough pee for a pregnancy test  in a hurry is priceless. The names of the neo-hippy home birthing fellowship are bang on. The noises made by the laboring woman in the inflatable birthing tub were accurate. Even my husband was holding his sides after laughing at men on the playground discussing the expenses and neglect that men put up with after babies are born.

A lot of the movie, like most movies, was predictable. Yet, there were so many aspects that appealed to me: a beau who makes and sells goat cheese fresh from his goat farm, insanely tricked out custom strollers, poop in the birthing tub, waddling down the clinic halls with legs clenched post-insemination, a dog in a doggie wheelchair puking on the floor, and watching Lopez hork back stew from a pot using slabs of bread as utensils – priceless. At one point (not in the clip) she even wipes her face with a piece of bread. Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope.

(This is where my friend Anna tells you to ask me about the time I was pregnant and asked A&W to “poutine my onion rings” and I remind her about the time she rolled marshmallows in butter, and stuck them in the microwave, and ate them while talking on the phone to me. Yeah. Pregnant chicks are HAWT!)

Ultimately, my favourite supporting character was the one of “Mona” who was the long-suffering BFF and mother of 4 hellions. She dispenses truth and tough love to JLo’s Zoe character.

Mona:  You don’t actually want kids. You’re just lonely.

Zoe: I do want kids.

Mona: You don’t want kids. Trust me.

Zoe: But you have FOUR!

Mona: And I hate them! Look at them! They’re horrible. *kids run by screaming and fighting*

Zoe: I just really, really want to have a baby.

Mona: Do you know what your vagina looks like after having a baby? Do you? You’ll never want a baby again. Wait! I have no shame. I’ll show you mine. Here…


Mona: …never mind what child birth does to your bladder!

Zoe: What? What does it do to your bladder?

Mona:…..*pauses* Ahhh. There we go. I just peed my pants a little. Again.

Highly recommended to anyone who has done the crunchy granola pregnancy and natural birthing circuit and still has a sense of humour about it. Or, has been through the invasive gyno appointments and knows the score with the transvag ultrasound wand, and after carrying a baby, has lost all semblance of dignity and pride. (It’s tough to continue to pretend you have any sense of dignity after everyone in the hospital, including the janitor and receptionist has had a turn at feeling your cervix after 30 hours of labor, yo.) Great chick flick for a Girls Night In with mommy friends.

Mad props.


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