More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.93%
Worth A Look: 8.93%
Average: 5.36%
Pretty Bad: 21.43%
Total Crap55.36%

4 reviews, 32 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Koko-di Koko-da by Jay Seaver

Shirley by Peter Sobczynski

Dreamland (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Lucky Grandma by Jay Seaver

Vast of Night, The by Peter Sobczynski

High Note, The by Peter Sobczynski

Taking of Tiger Mountain, The by Jay Seaver

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Fonda vs. Lopez = nobody wins"
1 stars

Jane Fonda makes a return to the big screen after a 15-year absence for “Monster-in-Law,” one of the worst pictures she has ever made. While Fonda’s enthusiasm can be entertaining, the script is anything but, and renders the film a useless clump of unfunny comedy.

Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) is a workaholic single girl looking for her knight in shining armor. He arrives in the form of Kevin (Michael Vartan, “Never Been Kissed”), a doctor who is instantly smitten with Charlie, and the two fall in love. It soon comes time for Charlie to meet Kevin’s mother, former television talk show host Viola (Jane Fonda). Viola isn’t a fan of Charlie’s earthy, unconventional background, and when Kevin proposes to her, Viola goes insane, and does everything in her power to prevent the blessed event from ever happening.

The real question of “Monster-in-Law” is why this material spoke to Jane Fonda in such a way that she broke from a 15 year absence from cinema to return to the screen. I shouldn’t complain, because it’s great to see her back in form (and lit like a goddess by miracle man Russell Carpenter). But heavens, “Monster” is not the type of comedy that anyone should be making, much less a legend like Fonda.

“Monster” is comedy without laughs, but more importantly, it’s a film without a plot. After a minor 20-minute setup of characters and backstory, “Monster” soon takes off into a series of pranks between Viola and Charlie, starting off nice and simple such as when Viola bestows a dress on Charlie that is a size too small. The film soon sputters into nastier realms, with Viola purposefully poisoning Charlie’s food, or the two engaging in a slapfight. There’s just so much tomfoolery between the two, it felt like I was watching a special divorcée edition of “Viva la Bam.”

Director Robert Luketic is a specialist when it comes to mass-audience whitebread comedies (“Legally Blonde,” “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton”). However, without any story to cling to, all “Monster” becomes is a series of sight gags that are hardly funny, and are so increasingly outlandish and slapsticky, they could never honestly connect with the female audience the picture is aimed at. Luketic is just pointing the camera at Lopez and Fonda going nuts and assuming that is enough. That isn’t nearly enough to maintain an entire film.

After seeing her work in “Monster,” one might think Jane Fonda was locked in a cage all those missing years. Fonda gives the material her all, screaming, mugging, and giggling her way through an entire performance like a maniac. Admittedly, she’s a hoot, and her energy level is so off the charts, the fact that she’s rarely funny seems secondary to the madness she’s harnessing. Lopez can only pray to keep up, and apparently there’s nobody in heaven listening to her. Wisely, Luketic pairs Fonda up with comic Wanda Sykes (“Pootie Tang”) as her assistant, and the two share much easier chemistry. In fact, they generate the only laughs in the film.

Expectedly, “Monster-in-Law” wants to pluck some heartstrings in the last reel, but none of it is earned. Lopez and Fonda just aren’t evenly matched here, and their nitwit screenplay fails them at every turn.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 06/04/09 01:50:46
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

1/02/19 Jamie I love this movie-Jane is fantastic.She makes it look so easy-totally underrated performanc 5 stars
5/14/11 art J.LO"S ASS is the only good point! 1 stars
11/21/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
1/26/07 alice no comment 2 stars
8/05/06 drydock54321 fun movie 4 stars
5/09/06 Carol Baker You got to watch comedies. You don't know what'll you get. 3 stars
3/20/06 Agent Sands Loved it! 1st 15 minutes are shit, but then it's a romantic comedy version of Apt Pupil! 4 stars
1/25/06 LP Quagmire One of the year's ten best! 5 stars
1/04/06 Anthony Feor Jennifer should have realized she's not cut out for acting after Gili 1 stars
12/25/05 Melissa Araya It was good. Timing could have been better and it was like other movies but it was good. 4 stars
12/05/05 cody a romantic comedy ok, but laughs were few to none, what is up jane fonda! 2 stars
10/26/05 malcolm funnier than i expected, but still just standard rom-com fare 3 stars
10/17/05 M JLO should stick to perfume making, Fonda & Sykes excellent! 4 stars
10/17/05 Jesse Taylor Very funny, good comeback for Jane Fonda 4 stars
9/22/05 laura excellnt, funny 5 stars
9/19/05 Jonathon Holmes waste of time 1 stars
9/09/05 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne (Charlie says she has 2 asses, LOL!) INCONVENIENT, should she ever have to shit with both at the same time, LOL! 3 stars
8/24/05 Noah Worst Movie Ever 1 stars
8/11/05 ES 4 movie feature at the drive-in, this was number two, sin city was last, how sad 2 stars
7/27/05 Christian Mediocre at best 2 stars
7/27/05 Ivy Great Movie! 5 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins On Golden Girls, makes you miss Gili 1 stars
6/19/05 Nicole What a surprise - another crappy J Lo movie 1 stars
6/13/05 Lowgere Saw it as 2nd feature in drive-in, it drove us out! 1 stars
6/06/05 Helen Bradley Great entertainment thoroughly enjoyable 5 stars
5/29/05 crock poor jane fonda. 1 stars
5/24/05 gray suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked! 1 stars
5/20/05 Christy Schultz Wanda is the only redeeming quality 2 stars
5/18/05 Todd Dear God: Please kill J-Lo, or at least make her go back to Mexico. 1 stars
5/16/05 Jeff Anderson A real letdown & depressing to watch, visually. Wanda Sykes delivers the only real laughs. 2 stars
5/14/05 Enlarged Left Testicle Jane Fonda is still alive?! 1 stars
5/14/05 Sgt Slaughter J-Lo SUCKS. Fonda is a POS. This movie is a good combo of the 2. 1 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  13-May-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Aug-2005



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast