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SECOND ACT

SYNOPSIS:
Maya (Jennifer Lopez) is a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations stemming from her unfulfilled dreams. Until she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as a college degree, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.

Review by Louise Keller:
Honesty and taking chances are the themes of this enjoyable rom com in which relationships, careers, secrets and lies all jostle for a place. Director Peter Segal (Anger Management, 2003) has created the perfect vehicle for Jennifer Lopez, whose natural onscreen warmth draws us to the plight of Maya, as she makes her birthday wish come true - that street smart equals book smart. The film is uplifting, involving and funny as we understand that it is our fears, not our mistakes that limit us. It is up to us to be whichever version of ourselves we choose.

Remember Maid in Manhattan (2002), when JLo and her colleagues made working as a hotel maid seem so much fun that we wanted to be one? Here, she and her friends make working in sales at the local value shop look just as enticing. Like Working Girl (1988), Maya's big break comes through unconventional means: a fictional online profile created for her is the start of a roller coaster ride punctuated by crazy situations. Watch for the dinner scene in which she is roped into translating Mandarin for an important client. The fact that the Chinese Vet prompting her through an ear-piece, is examining the rear end of a large dog (and making relevant comments all the while), brings some laugh out loud moments.

There's a Pretty Woman makeover including a wardrobe of shoes to die-for - love those black stilettos with a bright red sole. The plot involving a race to manufacture a viable totally organic skin care range offers plenty of opportunities for Maya to stumble and shine. Charlyne Yi is hilarious as Maya's diminutive, scared-of heights assistant (offices are located at the top of a tall skyscraper) while Vanessa Hudgens is lovely as Zoe, the competitive daughter of Maya's new boss (Treat Williams). Freddie Stroma is fun as the offbeat chemist, while Milo Ventimiglia is likeable as the man in Maya's life.

The plot lines concocted by screenwriters Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) and Elaine Goldmsith-Thomas may stretch credibility at times, but the film has a heart and Lopez displays hers on her sleeve, as the notion of a second chance - or a second act - comes into play.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SECOND ACT (M)
(US, 2018)

CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia, Leah Remini, Freddie Stroma, Charlene Yi,Treat Williams,Dave Foley

PRODUCER: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina,Justin Zackham

DIRECTOR: Peter Segal

SCRIPT: Justin Zackham, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ueli Steiger

EDITOR: Jason Gourson

MUSIC: Michael Andrews

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Hoover

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 29, 2018







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