MAID IN MANHATTAN
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes,
Bob Hoskins, Natasha
Richardson, and Stanley Tucci
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 103 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Wayne Wang
Executive Producer: Charles Newirth and Benny
Producer: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas,
Deborah Schindler and Paul
Writer: Kevin Wade
Address Comments To:Amy Pascal, Chairman
John Calley, Chairman/CEO
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
Not that the movie is atrociously bad, or worthless. Far from it. In fact, Ms. Lopez and her amiable supporting cast give it their best shot in MAID IN MANHATTAN. The movie is a pleasantly diverting piece of popular art. It just lacks the degree of humor, wit, warmth, originality, dramatic drive, and/or cleverness to attain blockbuster status.
In the story, Ms. Lopez plays Marisa, an intelligent maid who works at a fancy hotel in New York City. Marisa is good enough to start management training. Just when she gets her chance, however, another maid convinces her to try on some fancy clothes that are supposed to go back to the hotel’s fashion-plate store in the lobby. While trying on the clothes, her little boy, who’s a gifted child at school, is striking up a friendship in the elevator with Chris Marshall, a rich, eligible bachelor played by Ralph (Rafe) Fiennes (Fine). Chris plans to run for U.S. Senator in the Republican primary.
Chris and Marisa immediately hit it off, and Chris tries to continue the relationship. Marisa intends to tell him the truth and tries to break off the relationship, but circumstances, and the desires of her own heart, conspire against her. Can Marisa’s career goals survive the romantic entanglement in which she finds herself?
As noted above, MAID IN MANHATTAN is a pleasant diversion. The actors do a good job, but the story and characters are weak, and the direction uninspired. The movie also readily accepts the notion of premarital sex. It also contains lots of light obscenities and profanities, and some strong ones. Finally, there are some politically-correct elements in some of the movie’s dialogue. For instance, there is a pro-environmentalist message in one or two scenes and rich people are stereotyped as having more of a tendency than other people to ignore those who work in service positions such as maids. Also, Marisa’s son is an admirer of President Richard M. Nixon, but in one scene he praises Nixon for being nice to China and condemns Nixon for ordering the drop of “horrible” bombs against the Communists during the Vietnam War. These superficial political references forget to take into account the views that Nixon went to China partly to drive a wedge between the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Communists, and that Nixon’s bombing campaigns protected the relative liberty of many people and helped bring the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table.
MAID IN MANHATTAN is a pleasant diversion. The actors do a good job, but the story and characters are weak, and the direction uninspired. The movie also readily accepts the notion of premarital sex. It also contains lots of light obscenities and profanities, and some strong ones. Finally, there are some politically-correct elements in some of the movie’s dialogue