Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) lives in Santa Monica, CA and has a variety of jobs. She temps for a doctor, caters and walks dogs to support her dream to become a fashion designer. One day she sees a young man jogging on the beach; they make eye contact. Later she sees him at a coffee shop and they finally meet at a party. He is Dr. Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan) and they start to date.
Kevin’s mother, Viola (Jane Fonda) is a prominent television personality who has interviewed celebrities for years. She is told she is being replaced and while interviewing her last guest, a rather clueless Britney Spears-type singer, Viola attacks the entertainer and has a nervous breakdown. When Viola returns home several months later, Kevin brings his girlfriend Charlie home to meet her. This is bad enough, but when Kevin proposes to Charlie in front of his mother, and Charlie accepts, Viola is enraged… in a supposedly comical way. Instead of another breakdown to keep her world in her control, Viola goes on the offensive and moves in with the young couple.
Monster-in-Law marks Jane Fonda’s first film since 1990 when she did a fine job as a single working mother who helped an illiterate man (Robert De Niro) learn how to read in Stanley & Iris. Then of course, there was On Golden Pond. Here, I think the filmmaker seems to want to just showcase how great the actress looks at 67 years of age. And she does look great. Whoopee doo.
One of the major problems with Monster-in-Law is that the previews promised so much more than the film actually delivered. The trailer raised my expectations (and those of my sister) andthe film itself was so much of a disappointment because it didn’t deliver on its promises. The film is more like a vaudeville skit than an entertaining comedy. Without any character development, or anything to make me care, I thought Monster-in-Law a waste of time – with a few laughs. (On the other hand, my 25 year old nephew who watched the film with us, enjoyed the movie. Not everyone sees the same thing the same way….)
All four of the major actors (including Wanda Sykes as Ruby, Viola’s assistant) could have chosen a better project, more suited to their talent.
How many wedding movies does Jennifer Lopez have to make anyway? And I like her as an actress – she was excellent, attractive, and intelligent in Selena and Out of Sight; these films showcased her versatile talent so well.
Finally, I think mothers-in-law should unite to refute the negative stereotype that is supposed to fuel this film. Monster? There is a tiny moral at the end of the film when Charlie confronts Viola but it does little to off-set an empty air bag of a movie. Monster-in-Law doesn’t even rate to be called the derogatory “chick flick.”
The “peach” color of this type goes along with the movie.