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Jennifer Lopez and Aussie heartthrob Alex O’Loughlin are pitch-perfect foils in the romantic comedy The Back-up Plan–a film that’s as light as the foam on a root-beer float, but which manages to be both romantic and very funny. Lopez, after a long absence from the big screen, is a pleasure to watch–an accomplished (and underrated) comedian who can spar and spark with the best of her peers, and better than most. Lopez’s chemistry with the dreamy O’Loughlin will engage viewers completely. Lopez plays Zoe, a smart woman whose dating life has been dismal–and who finally decides to become a single mom so she can achieve at least the motherhood she’s always desired. As fate would have it, she meets Mr. Perfect (or Mr. Close To It), O’Loughlin’s Stan, on the very day she visits the fertility clinic and becomes pregnant with twins. The early stages of their courtship involve Zoe’s increasingly desperate measures to conceal her growing belly. By the time she confesses her condition, Stan is smitten–but with hormones on both sides roiling, and reality about to set in as the birth approaches, both Zoe and Stan get cold feet. If the plot of The Back-up Plan is a bit predictable, the flinty performances of both Lopez and O’Loughlin keep the viewer utterly engaged. Supporting actors Eric Christian Olsen, as Zoe’s best guy pal, and the lovely and hilarious Michaela Watkins (The New Adventures of Old Christine) turn in terrific performances, too, and cameos by veterans including Albert Klein (as Zoe’s hyperenthusiastic doctor), Tom Bosley, and Linda Lavin round out the excellent acting ensemble. The Back-up Plan also features an engaging soundtrack with a danceable tune by Lopez, “What Is Love?” and memorable songs by Colbie Caillat, India.Arie, and more. The Back-up Plan shows that love may not always go according to plan–OK, it never does–but it’s worth the ride, however the heart ultimately gets there. —A.T. Hurley