I have to admit that I was greatly looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lopez in Second Act. The sparkling J-Lo heading a workplace romp with Milo Ventimiglia as her love interest to spice up the winter doldrums? Yes, please – I’ll take two helpings!
I settled into the packed theater with high expectations, despite the fact that I was at a matinee filled with senior citizens who all seemed to have colds. (Age was not a factor in my frustration – but the obliviousness of volume of conversations being had, coupled with my germaphobic leanings, made it decidedly unpleasant.) “But it’s all okay,” I thought, “Soon I’ll be laughing my ass off!”
Plans to get swept away were quickly scrapped. Second Act starts off promisingly enough, with J-Lo sporting updated mall hair to signify her station in life, and her bestie, Leah Remini, spouting off as her sassy sidekick, Joan. I assumed I was in for Working Girl, part 2…
And for a moment, I was. When Jennifer’s character, Maya, gets passed over for a promotion, she quits her job in typical kick-ass fashion and is immediately hired by a fancy NYC makeup conglomerate. (Stealing a page from the terrible I Feel Pretty?) And boom – we have a classic “single gal, navigating the Big Apple while dominating at work” trope. (I crave that shizz – it’s like candy to me. I will repeatedly rewatch/binge on Sex & The City until the day I die, so I was definitely down for this part of the plot.)
Sadly, the film loses its way midway through, when the director and scriptwriters veer from Working Girl remake to maudlin Lifetime movie (with absolutely no humor or awareness about it). Direction is forgone; instead the focus shifts to a random sub-story that, unfortunately, is entirely uninteresting. And that is a damn shame. Someone should be fired for squandering J-Lo’s time and talent. Ironically, J-Lo serves as an executive producer on the project, so perhaps the one who needs reminding of her worth is Lopez herself.
Read my full review at MovieBoozer here, and chat with me on Twitter! xo