Look out for ‘Monster in Law’
“Monster in Law” is Jane Fonda’s first film in 15 years, and it shows. It’s as if she’s making up for lost years with over-the-top acting and too much skin.Yes, the former aerobics queen seems to think she still has firm and glowing skin like her co-star (Jennifer Lopez) – showing it off with strapless dresses and revealing attire as often as possible. I’m not against portraying older women as sexy, but paired with hysterical acting, the whole thing is overbearing.Of course, that’s Fonda’s character, Viola Fields. She portrays a jealous, insecure mother who tries to make up for loosing her professional career in television by holding onto her son – and making her future daughter-in-law’s life a living hell.Nothing unfolds naturally in the plot – instead, we’re force-fed the idea that 1) Lopez’s character, Charlotte, and Michael (Kevin Fields) fall madly in love, 2) Viola hates Charlotte, 3) everything turns out OK in the end. It’s as if director Robert Luketic looked at his watch every so often and said, “Oh – it’s time to have him propose (never mind that the chemistry’s not quite there yet); Oh, it’s time for her to turn nice now … “Luketic’s disappointment comes after the successful “Legally Blonde,” a movie that sounded dumb but bubbled with depth and wit. “Monster-in-Law” sounds dumb and pretty much is.That said, it’s not a complete waste. It’s more like an average comedy with stereotypical characters. Wanda Sykes adds refreshing spark to the white-woman-gone-mad caricature. And “Monster-in-Law” has some genuinely funny moments between friends and foes.Plus, I imagine it’s a hoot if you have a monster-in-law of your own. Or if you miss Fonda’s aerobic antics of the 1980s.
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