Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movies: The Back-Up Plan

Even on an airplane, some movies are better left unwatched. No one thinks of J-Lo as a great actress, but I'm still trying to understand how one can go from making a film with Steven Soderbergh to dribbling out such a diarrhetic stream of inane romantic comedies, of which The Back-Up Plan is the latest fecal plop. The plot is barely worth recounting; Lopez plays Zoe, a single girl who owns a frou-frou pet store and a dog with no hind legs. Frustrated by dating and ready to be a mom, she gets artificially inseminated—but then meets the man of her dreams later that day. Hilarity, as the saying goes, ensues as their relationship develops and he adjusts to the reality of becoming the father of a stranger's babies (she's having twins).

But what I found most offensive about this movie was not the plot. Instead, it was Zoe's self-absorption, insensitivity, and inability to communicate. Throughout the film, she makes unfair demands of her beau, and again and again, even though he chafes under this treatment, he returns to her and her insanity. I'm more and more disturbed by media that present poor examples of relating as successful models. Women will watch this film, and expect men to smilingly succumb to this kind of treatment; then, when real-life men fall short of these false expectations, real-life women will be disappointed and confused, but won't identify their own spoiled behavior as the problem.

For the record, I am a girl, and I did cry—multiple times. The film is drivel, but it is effective drivel. Luckily, I can keep my critical faculties plugged in and calculating, even when my permeable emotional self is penetrated and besieged. The two must remain as separate as church and state when entering Hollywood's territory.

No comments: