Movie review: Second Act falls apart in second act
After years of voicing animation and dabbling in different genres, Jennifer Lopez is most in her element in a chick comedy.
Second Act unabashedly belongs to that genre, a wish-fulfillment Cinderella story designed for women in their 40s who want to feel empowered, inspired and reinvented.
It's about book smarts vs street smarts, about seizing opportunities and pursuing dreams - no matter your age, educational qualifications or background - but also about coming to terms with the choices you make.
Charming yet commanding, Lopez's acting chops are much improved, and her on-screen presence is irresistible at times.
Her Maya is relatable and has depth - whether she's Jenny from the Block working her butt off at a Value Shop, or when she undergoes the Madison Avenue-approved wardrobe makeover for her new gig at a beauty conglomerate and transforms into a version of J Lo.
Ironically, it is in the second act of Second Act where things start to fall apart and incredulity becomes the order of the day.
There is a plot twist involving Vanessa Hudgens' character - the haughty CEO's daughter at Maya's new workplace - that is so over-the-top, daytime TV soap writers would be proud.
It skews the storyline and the tone of the film in so many insane ways, you just wish you could rewind and pretend it never happened.
And although Second Act is officially billed as a romantic comedy, the love story takes a backseat.
Playing Maya's long-time boyfriend, Milo Ventimiglia is the weak link, and their re lationship comes across as faux as her Harvard credentials.
It is as if he wandered on to the film set from his hit TV show This Is Us (with his character Jack Pearson's pornstache intact no less) - appearing at the beginning, dropping in during the middle, and re-emerging at the end.
It becomes clear Lopez is more than the material she has been saddled with, and that this is not the comeback star vehicle she deserves. - 2.5 Ticks
MOVIE Second Act
STARRING Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, Milo Ventimiglia
DIRECTOR Peter Segal
THE SKINNY Frustrated at being passed over for a promotion at the discount superstore she has worked at for over a decade in favour of a male MBA-holder, streetsmart Maya’s (Lopez) career prospects brighten when she lands her dream job at an elite firm - via a fake Ivy League resume.