Review Date: December 05, 2002
Director: Wayne Wang
Writer: Kevin Wade
Producers: Paul Schiff, Deborah Schindler
Jennifer Lopez as Marisa Ventura
Ralph Fiennes as Christopher Marshall
Stanley Tucci as Jerry Siegel
This movie did actually surprise me during its first half though. Surprising, in that, I was actually enjoying it somewhat. Like I said before, the film is basically as obvious as my lame jokes, but I'm a fan of Jennifer Lopez (not J-Lo!) and liked her in this role. She's sweet, loveable, a good mom and sports a great, big, beautiful ass! I also enjoyed Fiennes as the romantic lead. Who knew that Amon Goeth had it in him, eh? He's good-looking, he's charming and also quite dapper (I love that word-still not entirely sure what it means though). But what really "made" the flick for me were two hilarious secondary characters. One was Natasha Richardson as the over-the-top rich beeyatch, whose funny one-dimensional turn actually managed to crack a few smiles into my stoic face ("...but you didn't hear it from me."), but the man who ultimately stole the show was an actor who I've loved in various movies over the past few years, a man who has gone unrecognized (in terms of awards, at least) for much too long...Stanley Tucci! I love this guy in this movie! He's quick, he's evil, he's cute, he's funny...he's the perfect goofball. Build a film around this guy and you've got yourself a winner.
As for the story itself, once the halfway point is reached, and the typical cutesy moments pass us by, all that's left are montage sequences, musical interludes, quirky third-tier actors dancing to pop tunes, bad dialogue, obvious misunderstandings and revelations, as well as yet another stereotypical "ethnic" mom scene, in which she guilts her daughter into believing that she is the smallest piece of shit in the world (are there any "old school" families out there who actually believe in their kids...anywhere in Hollywood?). The film also includes one of the stupidest "movie scenes" of all-time, in which a friend surreptitiously helps Lopez get closer to her dream of becoming a hotel manager, but Lopez, inexplicably, rails into her for "helping her out"? Huh?? Since when do you tell a friend off for fuckin' helping you?? Not in "real life", that's fer sure. Oops, but I forgot, this is a movie...a badly written one, but a movie nonetheless. Anyway, nothing really new to see here folks, and no shots of Lopez in undies or braskies either, so leave the trenchcoats at home. Basically, just take a dash of CINDERELLA, add various safe, predictable, cute scenes, a couple of funny characters, plenty of PRETTY WOMAN make-up, J-Lo spelled out properly, a tub of schmaltzy goo, Lopez's smile, Fiennes' ass (or the other way around) and collect the big bucks on the other side.