A video rental. The girlfriend picked it out, that's the memory that I cling to.
I started with an open mind. There are chick-flicks that I have thoroughly enjoyed, I am unashamed to say, and I was ready to see another such. Not this time, as it turned out. The girlfriend relayed the cover info and the whole plot, as it turned out: Lonely city woman with ticking biological clock and no prospects decides to go with artificial insemination and then promptly meets man of her dreams. What to do?
The movie attempts to place Jennifer Lopez into a quintessential Sandra Bullock role ala 'The Net', 'Speed', 'While You Were Sleeping' et al, a slightly naive, sweet dispositioned perky young thing who doesn't seem to be aware she is pretty. Bullock pulls it off naturally, while Lopez in some way doesn't quite reach it.
The setup requires we the audience to accept the notion that a young lady as attractive as Lopez undeniably is, is unable in her whole given decade or so of adult life, to find a suitable live sperm bearing man in this teeming city who is willing to donate same to her cause. One brief scene involving Lopez asking a gorky co-worker for such a donation and the guy flubbing his chance, is meant to suffice in this question. What the scene does is illustrate the absurdity of the premise. If she's willing to use this loser's essence for the purpose then there are at least a million chances in this city every day for Lopez' character to fulfill her child bearing urge. A woman looking like that can't find anyone at all in the city, in ten years, to donate sperm? In what universe?
But we must get beyond this flight of fancy, cut the director some considerable slack, and let the movie get on with it. And gradually, like a Cambodian water buffalo hooked to a huge plow and goaded by a tiny child perched on its neck, the movie gets underway. But my God does it take it's time about it.
She meets Mr. Perfect when they both escape the pouring rain by hopping into opposite sides of the same cab, and then arguing on who 'owns' it. Lame, but they had to meet somehow. Then the two 'happen' to bump into each other often enough for a relationship to develop, though it is a wonder this happens because they show no on screen chemistry what-so-ever. Now there it is: she has a bona fide boyfriend, and is knocked up via artificial insemination sperm doner. The stage is set, just like the video box described.
Now what? Well... nothing.
Granted there isn't much to build on once the premise is established. Does she keep the A/I child or what? Obviously the production has got to have a nice ending that won't offend its audience, be they of whichever popular religious or moral persuasion, so the movie is already guaranteed to have the most politically correct outcome. She's not going to have an abortion (heaven forbid!) or spontaneously miscarry, or adopt out, or anything that might smack of controversy. Similarly it won't end with Mr. Perfect leaving her to her own devices because the kid(s) aren't of his issue. It has to be a 'happily ever after' ending.
The unspoken thing in our minds, that is never hinted at in the movie, is of course, 'Will she quickly consummate the relationship, lie, and say the pregnancy is his doing? She met him the same day she had the transfer after all.'. To the movie makers this rather obvious potential scenario simply doesn't exist. They don't touch it with a ten foot pole. Back Up Plan is far too politically correct a confection to even allow such a thought. We the audience are left to think it, and to consider ourselves 'dirty' for thinking of something so underhanded when the nice movie and its pure leading character never even gave consideration to such an idea. Thanks.
So where is there left for this movie to go? Nowhere. Nothing to say but to fleshing out more than an hour of our movie sitting time with silly fights, making up's, misunderstood meanings leading to more fights, breakups, making ups... Wasted time, in other words. We get about 70 minutes of what is basically a reality show peering into two unconvincing love interests' dating adventures with the oh-so-racy theme that she's carrying child fathered by a sperm doner. With a foreordained predictable nicey-nice ending. The pain of that final 70 minutes is the reason for my title, 'Let it end, please'.
I really regretted not looking at the label before putting the DVD in the machine, so that I might at least know just how long it was going to be before this movie would be over. That bad, yes.
I'm happy that Sandra Bullock was not the principal actress in this clunker. She'd have done it much more justice but I don't think she could have in any real way, saved it. 2/10
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