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The Back-Up Plan: JLo Inseminates


a blog by Infertile Naomi, April 27, 2010

Against my better judgment, I saw the new movie The Back-Up Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. It’s a story of a 30-something woman name Zoe who decides to get artificially inseminated after finding herself single and alone in New York City. And, of course, she meets the man of her dreams in a cab shortly after finding out she has conceived. As a woman struggling with infertility, I expected to dislike the movie given that JLo gets artificially inseminated and pregnant on her first attempt. I’ve been inseminated four times without even a hint of a pregnancy.

But I decided to see the movie only because I had received free movie passes. And so, with a box of tissues in hand and a moody expression on my face, I took my seat in the theater.

An usher soon came to the front of the stage and spoke into a microphone with a little too much excitement for those just wanting to watch a movie. “Everyone look at your ticket stub because we will be giving away a prize tonight. The prize will be a fabulous maternity gift bag!”

"Please don’t pick me. Please don’t pick my number," I thought to myself crouching lower in my seat. But, of course, as irony has it, she called my number. “Congratulations to the infertile woman sitting in seat number 2 Failed IVFs.”

Reluctantly, both myself and an older gentleman who had turned a shade of bright red, stood up and received our gift baskets of maternity clothing. Fortunately, he looked more awkward than I did as he graciously accepted his breastfeeding pump and nipple holders. We took our seats and waited for the movie to begin.

The Back-Up Plan was off to a super start already! [Sarcasm.]

But halfway through the movie, the dark scowl that had plastered my face soon melted into momentary smiles. Against my better judgment (and knowing that this movie received terrible reviews), I was actually sort of liking/not hating the movie.

When the character Zoe’s gets artificial inseminated, she thinks to herself, I should have shaved my legs and got a pedicure. After the procedure was over, she lifts her legs to help those sperm swim upstream. The fertile audience laughed while I and the rest of the infertile women nodded our head in agreement. (I always shave my legs before a fertility appointment even through I realized my doctor is looking in a much hairier and not so attractive area.)

In another scene, Zoe leaves the fertility clinic holding her legs together so the sperm won’t fall out which, as any infertile knows, that’s exactly what we do.

But as any movie dealing with fertility issues, the movie takes a turn to the unrealistic zone. It makes getting pregnant by a fertility doctor look so easy. If all you had to do was walk into a fertility clinic one time to get pregnant, I would be in my 24th trimester by now.

But of course, Zoe gets pregnant with twins, no less, after her first insemination. Go figure, she only gains five pounds by her third trimester and her fertility doctor multi-tasks as her delivery doctor as well. You'd think that Jennifer Lopez, mother of twins and rumored fertility patient, would bring a little more realism to her character.

The film ended. The lights came on and reality set back in. I was pleased that my box of tissues was still full and no emotional breakdowns had occurred.

I stood up and with my maternity gift bag in hand, I left the theater to drive home. When your life path remains uncertain, sometimes it just feels good to see a movie with a happy ending once in awhile . . .

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Comments (6)

I saw the movie and once I was reading the reviews of Naomi it looked to me I was sat with you in the theater. It was so realistic your description and so unrealistic the procedure and movie itself, however, in these times we pass by it is good to have a glass of lemonade sometime!!! :):)

From another Infertile momma wanna be, great blogpost and review! I too, make sure to shave my legs before every appt. and make sure my socks are white not dingy...lmao! They probably never even notice, but still!

Haven't seen the movie yet but I enjoyed your review! Hang in there. I am a single mom who went through fertility treatments and I ended up with a wonderful son. Not only did I have my baby but when he was 12 we met his donor father and some of his half-sibs. I just published my memoir which is called "Sperm Donor = Dad" and is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It looks at the lighter side of the whole issue.

Much luck to all of you who frequent this site. I know it can be frustrating but now when I look back it seems like no big deal.

I didn't want to see the Back Up Plan too but thought it was actually pretty good. Fertility treatments only played a small role in the film.

I'm so happy for your new opportunity blogging for Fertility Authority! Congratulations.

I loved your review of the film. I totally get where you are coming from, but I agree that it is nice to see a happy ending and perhaps not diving too much into the real world of fertility treatments offers a bit of escape-ism for those of us that live it every day/minute.

Great job!

Thanks for your comment. I didn't want to see the movie but I thought it wasn't as bad as I expected. I can't wait to use my new maternity pants one of these days, until then they will be in my closest.

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