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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #526 (Vol. 11, No. 17). This edition is for the week of April 19--25, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Back-up Plan"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"The Back-up Plan"  by Mike Smith
The Deland Collectibles Expo  by ED Tucker
G3: The Revenge of Iris  by Jason Fetters
FANGRRL Goes to the 2010 Ybor Festival of the Moving Image  by Lisa Scherer
R.I.P. Guru  by John Miller
Happy Anniversary .... Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

CBS Films     
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Laughlin and Anthony Anderson
Directed by: Alan Poul
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 46 mins

In 1907, New York City had 4,278,526 people. And only 65 taxi cabs. Which means there was one taxi for each group of approximately 66,000 people. While the population today has almost doubled (8.3 million at last count) the number of taxis has exploded, with more than 13,000 available at any one time. Which now gives us one taxi for each group of 638 people. Much better odds, wouldn’t you think? I bring this up because the premise of “The Back-up” wouldn’t even be able to go into existence if Zoe” (Lopez) and Stan (O’Loughin) hadn’t met cute by each getting into the other’s hailed cab. Lucky for us it was a cab ride straight to laughter.

I have to admit up front that I hadn’t seen that many Jennifer Lopez films. While I admired her work in movies like “Out of Bounds” and “Selena,” I wasn’t really impressed with her comedy work. Well I certainly am now. As Zoe’, she shows a very real and vulnerable side, giving a genuine and full performance that I certainly didn’t expect. Her smile literally lights up the screen from end to end and she credits herself well. As the other half of the cab ride, O’Laughlin proves himself to be a very competent romantic lead, which unfortunately won’t help him in his next role, Steve McGarrett in the film version of “Hawaii Five-O.”

Though the script is somewhat formulaic, writer Kate Angelo (“Will and Grace,” “The Bernie Mac Show”) manages to find humor in almost every situation. And the stars are helped by a supporting cast of long time comedy veterans, including Tom Bosley (“Happy Days”) and Linda Lavin (“Alice”). In fact, with this film and her work in 1996s “Jack,” Lopez becomes the only person, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, to work with both Tom Bosley and his grandson, Todd. Also contributing to the laughs: Michaela Watkins as Lopez’ friend, Mona, and a loveable dog named Nutsie.

The sure cure for spring fever, on a scale of zero to four I give “The Back-up Plan”


This week's movie review of "The Back-up Plan" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.