Coming off a string of flops (Gigli, Jersey Girl, and Shall We Dance—OK, I admit it, Shall We Dance was one of my 2004 guilty pleasures), Jennifer Lopez hopes her new film, Monster-in-Law, will break that slump. Well, keep hoping, J-Lo, because besides Jane Fonda's return to the big screen for the first time since 1990, there's little else of note in this forgettable movie, directed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde).
Charlotte "Charlie" Cantilini (Lopez) is a thirtysomething woman who works odd jobs because life's too short to not take advantage of variety. Charlie's personality isn't the only free-spirited thing in the film; so is her approach to religion. Within the first five minutes of the movie, Charlie references horoscopes, karma, and tarot cards in order to determine her destiny. As she reads her horoscope (something along the lines of "Love is right in front of you"), she looks up and sees Kevin Fields (Alias' Michael Vartan) running down the beach. They make eye contact and—voila!—Charlie's horoscope seems to be right on the money.
After a short courtship, Charlie and Kevin decide to get married. Enter Kevin's mom, Viola Fields (Jane Fonda), as the title character. As usual, Fonda looks great. She may be 67, but she's got more vivacity and oomph than most 20-year-olds. With her beauty comes a grand elegance—and a style and grace that makes Lopez, by comparison, look like an amateur. And J-Lo's been acting for nearly 20 years.
But Viola's not happy. She's had some misfortune in her professional life and now she wants to reconnect with the only family that she has: her son, Kevin. What mother doesn't know, though, could kill her! When Viola witnesses Charlie and Kevin's engagement, she imagines ...1
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