The Back-up Plan
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Back-up Plan is a romantic comedy that
deals frankly with sex and pregnancy, even though it contains very
little actual nudity and the story itself is fairly chaste. There is one
notable scene of a natural birth in which a naked, pregnant woman
squats in an inflatable swimming pool; in one brief shot (played for
comedy), her entire body is visible through the water. The movie also
contains strong language, including one "f--k" and at least half-a-dozen
uses of "s--t." Ultimately, the gruesome details of childbirth and
looming parenthood may be unappealing and perhaps even terrifying to
teens, but some parents may find something to laugh about.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Directed by Alan Poul, a TV veteran making his feature debut, THE
BACK-UP PLAN drags out every lazy romantic comedy cliché in the book.
The lovers withhold information from each other, and then get mad and
run away when the truth comes out. (In one scene, the heroine tells the
truth out loud, but a cut reveals that she's only speaking to herself in
a mirror.) The characters are paper-thin and their journey together is
entirely routine and totally predictable.
But the movie also has
the unfortunate side effect of making both pregnancy and impending
parenthood look unappealing and even terrifying. For a movie with such a
chaste setup, it has a very oddly cynical view of such things, not to
mention a large collection of foul language. Teens are unlikely to find much appeal in the storyline, though there's enough juvenile humor to mildly entertain those who dare. Parents are more likely to find some laughs peppered throughout the otherwise tired routine. If this was the "back up," the filmmakers
probably should have stuck to the original plan.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the movie portrays pregnancy. Teens: What opinions did this movie leave you with about pregnancy and parenthood? Was this a realistic scenario?
Do you think this movie reinforces or challenges any stereotypes about male-female relationships? How do romantic comedies, in general, portray intimate relationships?
Teens: Could you relate to any of the experiences or ideas about taking care of kids that came up in the movie? How did this movie portray kids and the practice of caring for