May 20 - 26, 2005• Vol. 26 - No. 20

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—And That’s Putting it Gently

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

After years of looking for Mr. Right (ladies haven't we all?) Charlotte “Charlie” Cantilini, convincingly played by Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan and The Wedding Planner) thinks she has finally found THE ONE' He is a wealthy, handsome doctor who is most charming and, above all, AVAILABLE. Michael Vartan (One Hour Photo and Never Been Kissed) plays Kevin Fields, the man of Charlie's dreams. Unfortunately, she soon finds out that Kevin comes with a GRAND CANYON TYPE FLAW in the guise of his mother, Viola Fields. Jane Fonda (Klute and Stanely and Iris, who has been in retirement for what seems like forever while she was married to THE Ted Turner), plays the recently fired national news anchor who is just back from a stay in a mental facility after having a nervous breakdown. A very possessive mother, to say the least, Viola is afraid after just losing her job that she will lose her son too, and to a 'temp' yet! It doesn't take her long to begin her campaign of sabotaging Charlie in hopes of derailing this relationship.
The fun (if that's what you want to call it) continues, when Charlie decides to fight back after learning of Viola's evil trickery. Director Robert Luketic seems to have an affinity for comedies, as he also directed Legally Blonde and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. How lucky can he be to have Jane Fonda return to acting after a 15-year absence in his most recent film. Go have some mother-in-law fun and compare Viola to your own mother-in-law!

The Blonde: This movie for me was like a memory-lane-journey through MY PAST mothers-in-law! Viola, however, was much sweeter! Monster-in-Law was like Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers meets Guess Who and You'll Like My Mother! The only problem is that this film was way too similar to Meet the Parents, right down to the deal-making in the end. Monster-in-Law was silly, mindless, small and totally unbelievable… yet, I enjoyed it all the same. Sometimes it's just fun to SEE JANE ACT! It has been so long, and it was just great to have her back on the big screen. I think she was insane for walking away from acting in the first place. She left to be with Ted Turner, and am I wrong, wasn't she the queen of WOMEN'S LIB back in the day? I am not as old as you, Maven, so correct me if I'm wrong!

The Maven: I must start my comment on the Blonde's dumb comment about Oprah in last week's column… THE DAUGHTER YOU CLAMIED SHE AND STEDMAN HAVE IS THEIR COCKER SPANIEL DOG!


The Maven: About the film, Jane chose the perfect movie to return with. She has a comedic flair with over-the-top characters. Her delivery is so smooth, you think she's not acting but channeling! No matter who was on screen with her, she was the one you watched. (Am I gushing?) I don't think Jane gave up acting for Ted! She just decided to give her relationship all her energy. In doing so, she didn't give up her independence. She chose to spend it all in one place. HER choice! Get it? Anyway, there weren't many good roles for her at that time. Comebacks are more dramatic.

The Blonde: BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Like I said before, she gave it all up for Ted! By the way, Maven, how long did you take getting dressed for the screening tonight of Monster-in-Law? I mean PLEASE, your purse and shirt matched down to the orange and yellow stripes, and the earrings matched to the point of being obnoxious! It's so nice to see that you have all that extra time in your life to coordinate your wardrobe so well!  MEOW-MEOW!

The Maven: Some things just come naturally to style-talented dressers!  Blonde, like you don't spend time matching the pearl bracelet, belt and necklace with the strappy heels and short skirt?

The Blonde: Hey, don't forget the elegant shirt and jacket the rings and other matching jewels…
I think the biggest problem with this film was that it looked so promising and it (I'm sorry to say) fell short of being a great movie! If you have seen the trailers to this film, then you pretty much have SEEN THIS FILM! Every funny line that was in the trailer made up all the funny lines in the movie. Sorry Jane, I love ya and I’m glad you're back, but next time, read into the scripts a little more. Maven, Jane is 67ish, and there is no way on the planet she hasn't spent some QUALITY time in a plastic surgeon’s office. She looks amazing and SKINNY, SKINNY, SKINNY!
The Maven: She may have had some surgery, but not too much. Some age was showing, but on her it looked great! I was quite sick of seeing those trailers, too. The movie seemed anti-climatic after all that. Speaking of anti-climatic…

The Blonde: We are not going to speak about my blind date last night!

The Maven: I felt Michael Vartan's character was boring. He looked great, but why would a dynamo like Jennifer's Charlie continue to see him?

The Blonde: He was boring, but not as boring as my date, and Kevin was much cuter to boot! Obviously you are not from L.A. If you were, you would understand why she continued to date him. Back to Jane, the age she showed was not of a 67-year-old woman! I only hope we age (even with the surgery) half as well! I thought Wanda Sykes stole this movie. Her character Ruby reminded me of Florence in the old “Jefferson's” TV show. (As I am too young, I know this from watching RE-RUNS!) This film was a good career move for her. I don't think, however, it will do too much for Jane or for J. Lo. By the by, do you think J. is happy with her new husband Anthony? Speaking of new husbands (not for me personally, THANK THE LORD!) what is up with Renée Zellweger marrying a guy after knowing him like what, 15 minutes, give or take a few seconds? I wonder if she asked for a pre-nup, at least?

The Maven: I love Wanda, too. She was the perfect side-kick for Jane to work with. All I could think of when I heard about Renée was Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett. I sure hope Renée has better luck!

The Blonde: I agree. They were a weird couple to begin with. Back to the film…Now WHO in real life bumps into the hunkiest guy in the world three times in two days? Then, he searches you out and hands you Starbucks coffee just the way you like it? I don't even go there in my dreams! Speaking of places I don't go in my dreams, is Tom Cruise really in love with Katie Holmes or is he just trying to throw us press off the track? And is Katie Holmes the daughter of John Holmes, the porn star?

The Maven: NO, SHE IS NOT!  WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU, AND… HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW OF JOHN HOLMES? I never try to second-guess Tom Cruise. He lost me when he dumped Nicole in such a bad way. Don't be such a cynic. If a guy you recently met hands you a Starbucks, JUST DRINK IT! It won't be the way you like it, because NOBODY IS AS ANAL AS YOU ABOUT YOUR STARBUCKS!

The Blonde: ANAL? ANAL? Just because I like a Starbucks large (Venti) café latte with skim milk, no foam, 190 degrees and filled to the very top with six Sweet & Lows and one Equal doesn't mean I am ANAL, CYNICAL or PICKY! Having said that, let's move along! Isn't Macaulay Culkin cute? He still looks like a kid even though he is 24. Michael sure owes him BIG for testifying so well on his behalf!

The Maven: Macaulay is a CUTIE and you know I try to stay away from discussing Michael! However, Jennifer's hair extensions were too long and too straight! They looked so fake!

The Blonde: Well, I am not the biggest J. Lo fan. I think she WAY overexposed herself. However, her extensions did look fake! Mav, does Michael Jackson wear extensions?

The Maven: I am ignoring you! In rating this movie, I tried to be fair. After all, Jane and Wanda are very funny. However, Michael and Jennifer were only mildly humorous. The writing was okay, nothing special. Was the music? The houses were nice, and no animals were hurt. I rate this film a C for its comeback talent. If you have to see it, see it for Jane. Don't expect any award-winning dialogue or direction.

The Blonde: The houses were beautiful! So were Jane's wardrobe, hair, make-up and face-lift! I wonder why J. Lo didn't sing a theme song for this film! I rate Monster-in-Law a C- and I, too, am being MORE than fair, because I like Jane! For your snacks, if you must go, I recommend LOTS of popcorn with EXTRA butter (for buttering up to the mom) and Bit of Honey candy for the mother-in-laws to learn you get more with honey! WELCOME BACK, JANE FONDA, WE MISSED YOU!

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