Release year: 2005
Director: Robert Luketic
Screenwriter: Anya Kochoff
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Monet mazur, Annie Parisse, Will Arnett
Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) meets the perfect man in Kevin (Michael Vartan) and the future looks rosey. But then she meets his mother, manipulating, selfcentered and possesive Viola (Jane Fonda) who are not at all happy about sharing her precious son with Charlie.
With all the jokes about mother-in-laws it makes sense there should be a comedy about them as well. The dillemma of being torn between the woman who gave birth to you and the woman you hope will give birth to your children is a classic and a perfect setting for comedy, as poor Kevin struggles to please both women in his life. Fonda (The Butler, 2013) here in her first movie since Stanley & Iris (1990) is brilliantly bitchy as the mother-in-law from hell and while Lopez (The Wedding Planner, 2001) may not be the greatest actress, she has a certain sweetness that makes her perfect for romantic comedies and here she easily holds her ground as the woman who needs to find her own inner bitch to match an unexpected enemy. Vartan (Never Been Kissed, 1999) is a pleasant sight as the man caught in the middle, he seems a bit like a decoration in the background, but that works fine in this movie, as the center is the two women and it is only positive that he doesn’t take the focus from them. Wanda Sykes (My Super Ex-Girlfriend, 2006) does however dare to steal every scene she is in as Viola’s smart-witted assistent, whose comments raises the movie to a higher level.
The exes of Jennifer Lopez and Michael Vartan are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner who married each other after breaking up with them.
Picture copyright: SF Film