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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.87%
Worth A Look: 9.64%
Just Average: 6.02%
Pretty Crappy: 15.66%

3 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Maid in Manhattan
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"We Know Where You Came From Too. GO BACK THERE!!!"
2 stars

Watching the opening credits of Maid In Manhattan, I was stunned to see the amount of talent involved in what has clearly been advertised as yet another piece of upchucked marshmallow fluff. I was even more surprised to discover that the screenplay had been credited to one Edmond Dantes. Considering I thought such a name only existed in the pages of Dumas fiction, it only made sense that the Count of Monte Cristo would have penned it as it’s a story as old as time like Beauty and the Beast. Ralph Fiennes plays the beauty and Jennifer “J.Lo” Lopez plays the immortal beast whom cannot be slain no matter how hard the box office tries. Where is Beowulf when you need him?

Billy Campbell couldn’t finish her off in Enough, so now we’re forced to watch Ms. Lopez play the violin as the hottest chambermaid in New York City. Living single with a young son and under the thumb of a disapproving mother who’d rather see her take the low road than try for advancement, Marisa Ventura has basically three choices from the screenwriter’s handbook. (1) become a hooker (2) become a stripper or (3) use mistaken identity to her advantage. With a PG-13 rating, it’s pretty safe to assume where this is going.

Seinfeld: “Chambermaids…I’m attracted to them too.”
George: “Why is that?”
Seinfeld: “It’s a woman in your room.”

Pretty Woman is already the tentpole for women-selling-to-the-highest-bidder-romantic-comedies and while Marisa could hardly be called a whore, her cutesy deception is still something that can only be tolerated in the world of these movies. See, she’s got a spunky co-worker who apparently isn’t smart or pretty enough to go out for hotel management herself so she continually harasses her friend to. She also coerces her into trying on a fancy outfit owned by the snotty socialite (Natasha Richardson) who keeps talking down to her ethnicity. (Between this and Blue Crush, I will officially never trust anyone cleaning my room again.) When aspiring politician, Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), catches a glimpse of Marisa, it’s lust...I mean, love at first sight. And despite what J.Lo sings about, her Marisa forgets where she came from pretty easily.

“Children grow and women producing
Men go working
Some go stealing
Everyone's got to make a living.”

I guess so J.Lo. And anyone who wants to start writing screenplays can just follow the same blueprint from hundreds of other films, sell it to the highest bidder and walk away without anyone truly knowing your identity. I’ll break it down for you real simple. Take your main character, preferably a woman. Make her poor, lonely, etc… Introduce your male lead. Make him devastatingly handsome, rich and powerful. Now make him think the poor woman is someone she’s not. They will have close calls to discovering the truth, fall in love, despite the occasional reservation on her part, (the man will just love her unconditionally) UNTIL all is revealed. The deceived will get upset a half-hour (or 30 pages) before the end of the story and break off relations. They will contemplate their time apart (usually looking out of windows) while a pop song is cued on the soundtrack, until the deceived party swallows their pride into a faux romantic situation that gives everyone in the world a chance to watch. Finally, collect your check.

“Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)”

Good, now go back and let us be. Jennifer Lopez just doesn’t have the charm to pull off this kind of role. And aren’t women tired of these hottie actresses playing roles like this and then have the audacity to give speeches like “half the time I’m a stereotype, the other I’m invisible?” (That is, while all the other maid characters strut and dance around like stereotypes to catchy retro tune of the month – “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross.) Lopez’s Marisa can be hesitant all she wants, but she still chooses to wear the expensive necklace and sleep with the rich guy. You can’t have scruples and then sellout at the same time.

Not that it would have made the script any better, but this kind of material needs a Sandra Bullock or Renee Zellweger in the role. The only things that can save formulaic 1-2-1-2-yessir material like this are charm and laughs. Thankfully, Ralph Fiennes is on board to lend all of one and some of the other to at least make portions of it watchable. Fiennes has a smile that could charm the pants off the world and any woman who would say they would rather fly off with his English Patient character than the one on display here is an idiot. Too bad his potential ladykiller ways couldn’t slay J.Lo for good; at least then his performance wouldn’t be completely wasted alongside the aforementioned talented cast which includes Bob Hoskins (very dignified as the hotel’s butler), Stanley Tucci (perfectly sleazy as Marshall’s top aide), Chris Eigemann (Barcelona), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under).

How Wayne Wang became associated with this project is beyond me. God knows how much worse this could have been without him on board (especially with an original script by John “I’ve lost it and just cashing checks now” Hughes.) His influence to perhaps add some real human drama into a cottonball story is valiant but just decomplements how unrealistic everything else is like adding nuts TO the turd. Attempts at screwball comedy, like a lunch-serving scene where Lopez can’t be seen, are completely botched. Thus we are left with only half the charm of a couple we’re supposed to root for and very few laughs to make us forget we’re watching the same ol’ thing. It’s not exactly the prison conditions of one Edmond Dantes. It’s worse. We’re expected to pay for such an experience.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6454&reviewer=198
originally posted: 12/12/02 19:44:07
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User Comments

9/22/15 jamie loved it! Fiennes, Richardson and Hopkins are superb actors so they bring the level way up 5 stars
10/22/09 Rachel I thought this movie was cute. Not the best romantic comedy, but cute nevertheless. 4 stars
1/05/09 Cat Smith One of the worst films I've ever seen. Why is Ralph Fiennes in this? 1 stars
3/01/08 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
1/30/05 Chris This movie is so self important and shallow not to mention bad that its funny 1 stars
9/19/04 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
3/27/04 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
12/31/03 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
10/09/03 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
8/31/03 francis Innocuous fare, rigid acting by Lopez - but pleasant time waster 3 stars
8/29/03 Quen Tran i enjoyed the movie, J.Lo has alot of talent 5 stars
8/25/03 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
8/15/03 Janice i think you should all be ashamed of your selfs at lest they try to do their best. 5 stars
8/13/03 tweety i think it was one of the best movies 5 stars
8/02/03 Atanu the halfwits who gave it awesome, you're beyond pathetic. 1 stars
7/23/03 krystal mills i loved it 5 stars
6/27/03 Ashley Sousa it was the best and really interesting 5 stars
6/26/03 Nikaelah I only watched it for Ralph. 2 stars
6/23/03 tiffany k. ralph fiennes is a hottie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/24/03 cherish I think jlo looks pretty good in alot of movies. 5 stars
5/21/03 fartzrgood DIE CHICK FLICKS!!! DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
4/11/03 Rach Diggity This movie was atrocious. Since when does JLo think she can act? She can barely sing! 1 stars
4/09/03 Heather Purplethorne More like it, JLo! Do more like this and Wedding Planner, no more like Angel Eyes &Enough! 4 stars
4/09/03 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
4/07/03 brentley Totally Sucks. I only watched it to see Amy Sedaris, & they gave her almost NO scenes. Boo! 1 stars
4/04/03 Chris A sweet romance needed now more than ever. Terrfic in every aspect. 5 stars
4/03/03 utrsweu sssssssssssssss 5 stars
4/02/03 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
3/10/03 Shadaan Felfeli Bad enough to make you want to scuttle the cinema hall. Unbelievably awful ! 1 stars
2/13/03 Andrew Carden Cute, Likable Little Comedy With Good Supporting Performances. 4 stars
2/08/03 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
1/28/03 Im Bored The absolute dregs. Put 'em all in a sack and kick it, you won't hit the wrong one. 1 stars
1/24/03 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
1/16/03 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
1/14/03 kitt4film@hotmail.com I loved Ralph Fiennes but not even for him will I pay money to see crap like this!!! 1 stars
1/13/03 Ken This movie J-Blows 1 stars
1/12/03 Timothy Dineen She's still, she's still Jenny making schlock... 1 stars
1/09/03 Mipchunk she can't act, she can't sing, she can't speak... hmm, doorstop anyone? 1 stars
1/08/03 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
12/23/02 Dickie Ugh, I wish J-lo would just go away. Flim flam sham of a flick 1 stars
12/22/02 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
12/17/02 Verner Interesting to see all the misogyny and hatred. Do guys usually see romantic comedies? 4 stars
12/15/02 Chancey Sugarpants Had to take my J.Lo worhshipping niece to this. Looks like Xmas presents for her this year. 1 stars
12/14/02 Uncle Salty People who pay for this movies should be sterilized. As should those who made it. 1 stars
12/14/02 JCR Liked it a lot 4 stars
12/14/02 Nick J. Most over rated "entertainer" = J.Lo. Even her butt can't save this crappy filck 1 stars
12/13/02 Rick Martinez Ugh Jenny go back to the block. Bad singer and actor a double threat 1 stars
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  13-Dec-2002 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Wayne Wang

Written by
  John Hughes

  Jennifer Lopez
  Ralph Fiennes
  Natascha Richardson
  Di Quon

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