Maid In Manhattan review

Fairytales have always sold well in Hollywood. So here's another one for you: single mom Marisa (Jennifer Lopez), chambermaid in one of Manhattan's poshest hotels, tries on one of her guest's designer dresses. Enter chisel-jawed senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), who promptly mistakes her for a drop-dead rich bitch. His heart and loins swell. She falls head over heels, frantically keeping up the pretence in an effort to keep him - all the while wondering if her Senator Charming would still love her with a mop in her hand.

And hey, while we're at it, here's another one: there was once a great little actress called Jennifer Lopez who wowed everyone with Out Of Sight. Then she met Prince Puffy, bought lots of silver slippers and became the bling-bling diva of song, dance, fragrance and fashion. Before long it was hard to separate JLo from her star-vehicle roles, and the little actress wasn't much cop anymore...

Maid In Manhattan is a corny-cute rom-com with waxed legs and perfect hair (it's scripted by '80s king of teen, John Hughes). Unfortunately, it's also as plastic and unrealistic as a Barbie doll. For starters, having to swallow the polished Miss L as a poor maid from the Bronx is like being asked to get your gums around a horse-drawn pumpkin; and then there's the usually dependable Fiennes, his limp senator toting a smile that's more Rain Man than Clinton. Put them together and you have... Very little, a toddler's chemistry set guaranteedto give you more bangs for your buck.

Still, the bar is raised considerably by Natasha Richardson, chewing scenery as a predatory hotel guest, and Stanley Tucci, brilliant as Marshall's snippy advisor. Throw in a Greek chorus comprised of Bob Hoskins' butler and some kooky maids, and what threatens to be the JLo Horror Show turns into a watchable, at times perky movie. Well, at least until the punch wears off...

Jennifer Lopez should cast aside her monolithic franchise and concentrate on choosing a decent script if she's gonna get cinemagoers back on side. Midnight is fast approaching for Cinderella...


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