Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan
Directed by: Robert Luketic
speaking? Monster in Law is one of those homogenized paint-by-numbers
Hollywood commodities that'll have about five people in a theater of 300 roaring,
and the rest heading towards Narnia-ville or sneaking into the theater next door.
It's got nothing new, and wastes Jane Fonda's infamous "return to film.'
Further more, when will Hollywood actually stop giving Jennifer Lopez leading
film roles? Here her acting is teenage film star deep, and here her continual
aw-shucks golly-gee life's grand attitude is just plain old speed-slap her grating.
Do gooder and struggling multi-jobber Charlotte "Charlie"
Cantillini (read-a-liny Jennifer Lopez) is tired of living alone - but there just
aren't any great guys out there
then suddenly, a handsome fella (Michael Vartan) starts popping up everywhere
she is. This catch-of-a-lifetime is also a doctor no less - 'cause ya know that
happens all the time. And before you can say, "Hold the crème on that
Mochachino" the two meet, fall madly in love, and move in together - within
a month of dating.
now that the "his and hers" towels are properly hung, Charlie must finally
meet her oh-so-perfect (with a slight infusion of "mommy's boy" beneath
his L.L.Bean wears) beau's mother.
aka Viola (Jane Fonda), is an aging award-winning bigwig news gal (think Barbara
Walters-ish). She has only her career and her son to dote upon. When she learns
a common nobody and her perfect doctor boy are actually thinking about getting
wed, her scheming mind begins to twirl. This commoner (Latino no-less) will not
be a part of her family. Viola decides she will drive away Charlie - and viola
Viola becomes the mother-in-law to be from hell. Hence the name
the comedy family squabble cliches and off we go. In fact, the film is a lot like
a big frilly-accented virgin Mai Tai cocktail at a Motel 6 Leisure Lounge - made
with generic brand mix. Even the film's token gay-guy friend to Charlie, Remy
(Adam Scott), is almost asexual - ambiguous. Is he, or isn't he? It's almost distracting.
There are a few well-done laughs in the hands of an over-the-top ala Sunset Boulevard-y
bits Jane Fonda whips up, and Wanda Sykes as "Viola's" suffering long-time
personal assistant, supplies a few one-liners for fill giggles. The other positive
note is a short cameo by Elaine Stritch (the Ethel Barrymore of the new millennium)
actually briefly wakes you up for her short scene - but otherwise this just couldn't
wait, yes they could have had Paris Hilton somewhere in there. Skip
this poodlepoop melage of waste.
Bull© is highly recommended - 'cause the laughs
aint gonna keep you up for this rehashed hoopla...