The Back-up Plan

Photo #19

Film (with rating):
The Back-up Plan (PG-13)


Studio: Sony
Pictures Home Entertainment


Summary: A
successful businesswoman (Jennifer Lopez) realizes she can’t wait for Mr. Right
any longer, and so she starts a family by herself. But as soon as she embarks
down that road, she meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) and realizes she just may have
found her Mr. Right, but at the wrong time.


Review: I’m not a
big J-Lo-the-Actor fan, but I have to admit, she was not too bad in this
romantic comedy.  I’d rather see
her sing and perform than act and speak, but in “Plan,” she proves
she does have some decent cinematic talent. (Just don’t think about
“Gigli”.) This film pretty much nails the “chick flick”
genre, so if you’re a fan, you’ll be thrilled. Even if you’re not (which I am
not), the movie still offers you a few high points. And if you’re pregnant or
ever have been pregnant, you’ll find a few avenues in the flick to really
enjoy, too.


Unfortunately, the plot has more than its fair share of
clichs (they meet in a taxi!? In New York City?! Pregnant women are crazy and eat like truck drivers?!), and it is pretty
predictable overall, but there are some really good memorable and comedic
moments. A few of the best involve the gal-pal Mona, as well as the
special-needs dog, who is just so cute, I want to adopt it. Another point in
the film’s favor is J-Lo’s co-star O’Loughlin. Remember him from
“Moonlight” fame? He serves up some well-timed laughs (and great eye
candy) throughout the movie. Makes me really want to tune in this fall to the
upcoming “Hawaii Five-O” series.


The on-screen chemistry between Lopez an O’Loughlin just
skimmed the surface, but the latter’s admirable screen presence made me
(mostly) overlook that flaw. The other supporting cast members also do an
excellent job at lending more comic chops to “Plan.” Some of the more
hilarious moments happen when these guys take over and start their own
childbirth conversations and experiences. More often than not, these guys are
the scene stealers, and they, along with the really funny pregnancy quips,
should be why you see the flick. In a nutshell, “Plan” is a decent
movie to watch this long holiday weekend when the sun gets too hot, the BBQ is
heating up and the workweek ahead looks decades away.


Extra highlight:
“Belly Laughs”


What to serve for dinner: Since, like the main character, I, too, am pregnant, let’s honor the
pregnant woman’s cravings and focus on some of my current must-have dinner
choices: Mexican food.  My latest
fave? Cheese enchiladas, with lots of sour cream. (Bet you thought I’d say
pickles, ice cream and cake, didn’t you? Nope. I did go through a pickle phase
for about two days in the first trimester, but now, can’t go near the things.)
Recipe from



Grapeseed oil (or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil)

12 corn tortillas

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup of salsa

3 Tbsp of tomato paste

1 cup water

1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)

Olive oil

1 lb of jack cheese, mild cheddar or longhorn or any mild yellow cheese, grated

A handful of cilantro

1 cup of sour cream

Half a head of iceberg lettuce



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large fry pan at high heat
add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds,
lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for
2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath.
Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed.
This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You
do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown
a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs
any excess fat.


Saut up the chopped onion and garlic, then turn off the
heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water,
add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire-roasted canned tomatoes. Taste. If the
sauce tastes too vinegary, add a teaspoon of sugar.  Put some olive oil on the bottom of a large casserole pan.
Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up
the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas
are filled and rolled. Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the casserole
pan. Make sure all are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water.
Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in
the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.


Garnish with cilantro and sour cream (lots of sour
cream). Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with
vinegar and salt.


What to talk about over dinner: Should Jennifer Lopez stick with singing, or should
she continue to try and excel at this second career on the big screen? Has her
image changed since she settled down and had kids? What is your favorite J-Lo
song? Movie? Did you think she was trying too hard in “Plan,” or did
she finally get the comedic timing just right? Why was “Moonlight”
canceled, especially since vampires are hot right now? Will you watch
“Hawaii Five-O”? Who was the funniest supporting character? Mona?
What about that kiddie pool scene? Would you ever have a home birth? Would you
ever get pregnant using a sperm bank and embark on this journey as a single
mom? What was the best part about being pregnant? The worst? Your craziest
craving? Do you think more women are going for the single-mom route? Why or why