Thursday, 6 December 2018

Second Act: Film Review

Second Act: Film Review

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia
Director: Peter Segal

Second Act: Film Review
Presumably rejected by Hallmark and Lifetime for its utterly insane twist, Second Act is a film that is crippled by its storyline, which comes straight out of 1950s America.

J-Lo is Maria Vargas, a long-suffering assistant supermarket manager in downtown New York. On her birthday, Maria is trying to secure a promotion, having spent 15 years working as the manager's right hand and set in motion some changes that would benefit the business.

But rejected for promotion, and with her relationship with her toyboy baseball coach crumbling over her desire to not have kids, she finds herself offered a job at a major cosmetics company, thanks to her street-talking friend (Remini) faking her CV and getting her an interview.

It gets worse for Vargas when she gets the job and isn't sure how long to continue the lie - setting her on a collision course with the younger elements of the firm, including the firm's founder's daughter Zoe (Hudgens).

To explain why Second Act is such a bizarro trip into 1960s world where women can have anything they want, as long as men sanction it, is to reveal its twist. Which is to rob you of a genuine "Are you kidding me" moment that cinema so rarely offers. Suffice to say, that will not happen here.

But it's enough to say that despite Lopez's earnestness and innate likeability as the everyday woman who wants it all, the film's utter unswerving adherence to something that would have been part of a Twilight Zone episode of I Love Lucy is not to its credit.

Added to this the level of mansplaining going on as well throughout, this tale of so-called women's empowerment is lacking the balls (sorry) it needs to heartily succeed and carry past an insane twist that defies logic and belief.
Second Act: Film Review

Lopez does what she can with the material on offer, and maybe the credibility is stretched as far as it can - but giving its lead a power me moment to be crippled by a pratfall seems like something from decades ago, and is as weak as it is inexcusable.

In a fantasy world context, Second Act's continual stereotyping and conforming makes it almost unbelievable to behold, and its central message of You Can Have It All, Ladies seem like something from decades long since buried, and much deliberately maligned in a more woke 2018. It's even more of a crime how it fails to execute its own concept and collapses into a pile of sentimental mush than is barely worthy of a girls-night-out film.

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