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Overall Rating
2.24

Awesome: 16.87%
Worth A Look: 9.64%
Average: 6.02%
Pretty Bad: 15.66%
Total Crap51.81%

3 reviews, 65 user ratings


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Maid in Manhattan
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by EricDSnider

"Utterly formulaic, even by formula-movie standards."
1 stars

From its first focus-group-prescribed moment to its last prefabricated images of cuteness and love, “Maid in Manhattan” is a 100-percent unoriginal, factory-made romantic comedy without an ounce of creativity or a shred of unpredictability.

Its unsurprising nature is, itself, unsurprising. People who go to romantic comedies (i.e., women and the men they drag with them) don’t want twists or shocks. They want the glamorous onscreen couple to wind up together in the end, no matter how obvious or predictable it is that they will.

But even as we forgive “Maid in Manhattan” for having the same outcome as countless other films — everyone likes happy endings, after all, even predictable ones — we must also wonder whom the filmmakers think they’re fooling. Making “a romantic comedy” is one thing. Making “a romantic comedy that copies its prototypes down the last detail” is borderline inexcusable. As we describe the film, directed by Wayne Wang (“Anywhere but Here,” “The Joy Luck Club”), count how many times the phrase “of course” is applicable.

Jennifer Lopez plays Marisa Ventura, a maid at the ritzy Beresford Hotel in New York City. She’s a resourceful single mom (of course), whose son Ty (Tyler Posey) is really cute (of course) and really smart (of course).

One of the hotel guests is senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), who has a reputation for being non-committal in his romantic relationships (of course). He mistakes an out-of-uniform Marisa for a wealthy guest, not the poverty-stricken maid she really is, and invites her out on that pretense.

Now, Marisa could clear things up by simply telling the truth. But she perpetuates the lie (of course), leading to wacky, farcical situations like being invited to his suite for lunch — the lunch at which she, as the maid, is supposed to act as waitress!

Hilarity, alas, does not ensue. Kevin Wade’s by-the-numbers script offers the usual assortment of whimsical co-workers (of course), and several pretentious straw men for Marisa to bring down to Earth with her sassiness — but few real, actual funny lines. Within 15 minutes of the film beginning, there have been not one but two naked men, both of them bare for purposes of comedy. That’s the sort of desperate humor we’re dealing with here. (One scene with a naked guy is funny. But two? Within minutes of each other? No.)

Lopez and Fiennes have charisma separately, but together they are nothing special. More watchable are Bob Hoskins as a noble hotel butler and, in other scenes, Stanley Tucci as Marshall’s flustered publicity adviser. Both actors are above the material but gamely go at this nonsense with full gusto.

In the end, the truth comes out (of course), and after Marshall delivers his obligatory makes-you-think line — “Are you running to something you want, or running from something you’re afraid to want?” — the couple breaks up (of course), and a montage demonstrating how sad they are when they’re apart is accompanied by a wistful love song (of course). Then they are reunited in a public place with the whole city watching (of course), aided and abetted by the precocious kid (of course).

It’s completely contrived and fake, every bit of it, even more than you’d expect from a simple, inoffensive cookie-cutter romantic comedy. But will it appeal to the usual audience for these? Of course. And they're welcome to it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6454&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/05/03 12:43:55
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User Comments

9/23/15 jamie loved it! Fiennes, Richardson and Hopkins are superb actors so they bring the level way up 5 stars
10/23/09 Rachel I thought this movie was cute. Not the best romantic comedy, but cute nevertheless. 4 stars
1/06/09 Cat Smith One of the worst films I've ever seen. Why is Ralph Fiennes in this? 1 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT AS SACCHARINE AS IT IS DISPOSABLE 1 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White old cinderella story reinvented uninspiring 3 stars
11/13/07 ace best part of the show was when it finally ended. it doesn't even deserve a 1 star rating 1 stars
7/11/05 love i love this movie ...maybe because I'm lonely?? 4 stars
1/31/05 Chris This movie is so self important and shallow not to mention bad that its funny 1 stars
9/20/04 angel cute movie, most of u need to losen up & learn how 2 just enjoy a movie! 3 stars
6/05/04 Kevin the worst movie ever. J lo just sucks now, she's fine, but she sucks 1 stars
3/28/04 Jake If this movie were a science expariment, it would be Cernobyl 1 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Ralph...why??? 1 stars
1/01/04 Arlene I think the movie was great all u people that say it's crap you should watch it again cauz 5 stars
1/01/04 HorrorScribbler Boring, plodding, cliched, predictable, contrived ... did I miss any pejoratives? 1 stars
12/31/03 mercie the bitch cant sing nor act,what bullshit 1 stars
10/10/03 Elyssa Beverley I really enjoyed it and thought it was funny Jen your so bueatiful and your my best singer. 5 stars
9/03/03 cedrick watch movie of jlo 3 stars
9/01/03 francis Innocuous fare, rigid acting by Lopez - but pleasant time waster 3 stars
8/30/03 Quen Tran i enjoyed the movie, J.Lo has alot of talent 5 stars
8/26/03 Scizuh I liked the original (1984) Starring Vanessa del Rio 3 stars
8/25/03 Jess4lyf This was the best movie eva!!!!!!!!!! Jennifer Lopez you rule 4 lyf!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/16/03 Janice i think you should all be ashamed of your selfs at lest they try to do their best. 5 stars
8/14/03 tweety i think it was one of the best movies 5 stars
8/03/03 Atanu the halfwits who gave it awesome, you're beyond pathetic. 1 stars
7/23/03 krystal mills i loved it 5 stars
7/14/03 KRISTIE DWIGHT IT WAS SUCH A GREAT MOVIE I LOVE IT 5 stars
6/28/03 Ashley Sousa it was the best and really interesting 5 stars
6/27/03 Nikaelah I only watched it for Ralph. 2 stars
6/23/03 tiffany k. ralph fiennes is a hottie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/25/03 cherish I think jlo looks pretty good in alot of movies. 5 stars
5/22/03 fartzrgood DIE CHICK FLICKS!!! DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
4/12/03 Rach Diggity This movie was atrocious. Since when does JLo think she can act? She can barely sing! 1 stars
4/10/03 Heather Purplethorne More like it, JLo! Do more like this and Wedding Planner, no more like Angel Eyes &Enough! 4 stars
4/10/03 Chandel Hey Angelina Joseph...speak English! All of you are just jealous! 4 stars
4/09/03 Angelina Joseph J. lo couldn't get an oscar for her music it sure she is not a good actor that women need 1 stars
4/08/03 brentley Totally Sucks. I only watched it to see Amy Sedaris, & they gave her almost NO scenes. Boo! 1 stars
4/05/03 Chris A sweet romance needed now more than ever. Terrfic in every aspect. 5 stars
4/04/03 utrsweu sssssssssssssss 5 stars
4/03/03 Chandel Very cute movie...it seems like all of you people are jealous! 4 stars
3/26/03 KK J-LO sucks. Any movie with J-Lo as the leading actress tend to be sucks. 1 stars
3/13/03 sara j-lo is pathetically average. i resent supporting her with my movie going 1 stars
3/11/03 Shadaan Felfeli Bad enough to make you want to scuttle the cinema hall. Unbelievably awful ! 1 stars
2/14/03 Andrew Carden Cute, Likable Little Comedy With Good Supporting Performances. 4 stars
2/09/03 The Aussie Film Reviewer Some say J-Lo is misunderstood. I say she's Miss Undertalented. 1 stars
2/07/03 altera888 Im still, im still making movies that blow cock... 1 stars
1/29/03 Im Bored The absolute dregs. Put 'em all in a sack and kick it, you won't hit the wrong one. 1 stars
1/25/03 Angry Black Man This movie was so true to life! I know many maids who've found rich husbands. 1 stars
1/18/03 Die4YourGovt I was gonna give it a Just Average, but I wanna stick with the flow here. It sucks ballsack 1 stars
1/17/03 bullit17 My wife forced me to see it with her. I have since filed for divorce 1 stars
1/16/03 Lindsey Repp Wow, Ben better write her a movie after this load of crap. 1 stars
1/15/03 kitt4film@hotmail.com I loved Ralph Fiennes but not even for him will I pay money to see crap like this!!! 1 stars
1/14/03 Ken This movie J-Blows 1 stars
1/13/03 Timothy Dineen She's still, she's still Jenny making schlock... 1 stars
1/10/03 Mipchunk she can't act, she can't sing, she can't speak... hmm, doorstop anyone? 1 stars
1/09/03 J-Lo isn't even that hot She's nowhere as sexy as she's supposed to, her music sucks and her acting, oh… 1 stars
12/24/02 Dickie Ugh, I wish J-lo would just go away. Flim flam sham of a flick 1 stars
12/23/02 f*r*o*s*t*y Just... boring. Plain boring. 1 stars
12/22/02 go back to the block! Guys go when forced by: wife, gf, or small naive child.I HATE J-Ho, you skank! 1 stars
12/18/02 Verner Interesting to see all the misogyny and hatred. Do guys usually see romantic comedies? 4 stars
12/16/02 Chancey Sugarpants Had to take my J.Lo worhshipping niece to this. Looks like Xmas presents for her this year. 1 stars
12/15/02 Uncle Salty People who pay for this movies should be sterilized. As should those who made it. 1 stars
12/15/02 JCR Liked it a lot 4 stars
12/15/02 Nick J. Most over rated "entertainer" = J.Lo. Even her butt can't save this crappy filck 1 stars
12/14/02 CHEESEBALL FORMULAIC PRIMORDIAL OOZE. FUCK THE BLOCK, JENNY IS A CROCK. 1 stars
12/14/02 Rick Martinez Ugh Jenny go back to the block. Bad singer and actor a double threat 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Dec-2002 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Mar-2003


Directed by
  Wayne Wang

Written by
  John Hughes

Cast
  Jennifer Lopez
  Ralph Fiennes
  Natascha Richardson
  Di Quon



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