|Maid in Manhattan|
This is by-the-books in every way, funny and undemanding ... and also rather sweet and heartwarming, directed by Wang in that sunny, anyone-could've-made-this-film sort of way. Every character is so nice it almost hurts; even Tucci as Fiennes' grouchy assistant is only grouchy in a comedy-sidekick sort of way. And Hoskins is even on hand to play the loyal English butler. Lopez holds the film together nicely, and even adds a bit of grit when it's badly needed. Fiennes is rather wooden as usual, never quite relaxing into the role and making us wonder where he's hiding the charisma he'd need to become a candidate for the US Senate in New York City. But never mind; we sit happily ticking off the plot points one by one, right on schedule, grimacing as the filmmakers try to insert a lame statement about servants and dignity (whatever!). And when we catch ourselves sighing at the end, we get mad that we've fallen for this same old formula all over again. But mad in a nice way.
dir Wayne Wang|
scr Kevin Wade
with Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Tyler Garcia Posey, Bob Hoskins, Marissa Matrone, Stanley Tucci, Chris Eigeman, Amy Sedaris, Vincent De Paul, Kelly McCool, James Mount
release US 13.Dec.02; UK 7.Mar.03
Faking it. Marisa puts on a D&G coat and suddenly she's out with the movers and the shakers(Fiennes and Lopez)...
|"Jennifer Lopez is the gorgeous media doll - the perfect beauty, engaged to Ben with the huge pink diamond - the current romance in the news. That being said, this is a fun, light, romantic comedy - you know where it is going. The hard working, beautiful, dedicated single mom, absent father, rich handsome stranger - chance meeting. A whole fairy tale thing. But it is fun to watch, and sometimes happy endings are what you need to see. Go see it if you are in the mood for a light romantic comedy with a happy ending." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 5.Jan.03|