Maid in Manhattan

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Jennifer Lopez Is The Maid In Manhattan

Nov 29, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Jennifer Lopez was great to watch!

Cons:Very little chemistry between JLo and Ralph Fiennes.

The Bottom Line: Even though the leading male seemed a bit miscast, the rest of the movie makes up for it.


Preamble
Squeal! I got to see a sneak preview of Maid in Manhattan tonight. I only found out last night that it was going to happen and first thing this morning, I went down to the movie theater and procured my ticket because I knew it would be a sellout...and it was!

The Bottomline
JLo was fantastic. Lots of funny dialog. Ralph has his moments. Definitely 3.5 stars. Girls will like this movie. Men will probably be bored.

The Story
Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a single mother who has lived in New York her entire life. She works as a maid at an upscale Manhattan hotel and spends most of her spare time with her 70's pop-culture-obsessed son Ty (Tyler Posey). While attending to the room on the posh 22nd floor, Marisa tries on the borrowed Gucci clothes of Caroline (Natasha Richardson). It's at that time that senatorial candidate, Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) walks into the room and mistakes her as the occupant.

Christopher is completely smitten with her and for one week, Marisa allows herself to pretend that she's more than just a maid.

Will Christopher find out the truth?
Will Marisa always be a maid?
Will Christopher and Marisa live happily ever after?

On December 13, you can go find out for yourself!

Analyze Me
This movie could have been THE perfect romantic comedy had it not been for one thing...the lack of chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes. You could tell - Jennifer was trying REALLY REALLY hard while Ralph just seemed to bumble around, trying to be charming.

Usually, when the chemistry between the two main, romantic characters isn't stellar, you can pretty much write the rest of the movie off. But not here. You can thank Jennifer and the supporting cast for pulling off a funny movie.

And speaking of Jennifer, she just really shined in her role as Marisa Ventura. She had great chemistry with her "son" and she played well off of the individuals who were her peers (maids, butlers).

Some of my favorite interactions were between her and Bob Hoskins, who played a very small role as a distinguished butler. I loved when he said, What defines us as a person is how we rise after the fall. Loved that!

Another person who fit in well with Jennifer was little Tyler Posey. He has some great scenes with Ralph Fiennes as well. You thought that Haley Joel Osment was charming? Pfffft! Tyler is MORE charming.

Writer Kevin Wade, known for his work on Working Girl and True Colors, doesn't create anything new here. The story is pretty predictable. It's like taking My Big Fat Greek Wedding and mixing in Pretty Woman, and Pretty In Pink and that's how you come up with Maid In Manhattan.

Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club, Anywhere But Here) did a good job in building up Jennifer's character. By the time Ralph came into the picture, we as the audience, felt like we had always known Marisa Ventura.

Rating
Maid In Manhattan is rated PG-13 for some language (G-D is used) and some sexual references. I think it probably received the PG-13 for the G-D word. I can't imagine that any boy under 13 would want to see this (let alone OVER 13), but there might be younger girls who may want to see this.

The Music
I really liked the music in this movie. Because the son Ty was obsessed with 70's music, we get a bit of Simon and Garfunkel and Bread, along with some Diana Ross, Diana Krall, and Kelly Rowland.

Odd John Hughes Tie-In
When I first heard of the existence of Maid In Manhattan, John Hughes was the one being talked about as the director.

There's a funny scene in this movie where Marisa goes down to purchase something for Caroline (hosiery) and the woman who should be waiting on her is yap yap yapping on the telephone. Guess who it is? Yes! It's Keith's little sister from Some Kind of Wonderful, Maddie Corman! And she looks EXACTLY the same. Loved seeing her again :).

The End
I was just a tad bit disappointed in the Ralph Fiennes casting because otherwise, this was a neat movie. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ralph and he had delicious chemistry with Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient).


Recommend this product? Yes

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