The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Monster In Law

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Judy Thorburn

Monster In Law

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“MONSTER IN LAW” – THIS MOTHER IS NO PLAIN JANE

It’s nice to see Jane Fonda back on screen after a fifteen-year hiatus from movie making.  When she married media mogul Ted Turner it looked like she had retired from motion pictures.  But, a divorce from one of the richest men in the world brought the freedom to get back to what she’s been missing, acting.  After a successful Academy Award winning career that spanned three decades, who could blame Jane for accepting a comeback role for the pure fun of it.  From my point of view, it sure looks like she had a great time butting heads with Jennifer Lopez as her soon to be monster of a mother in law.  This film should draw multi-generational female audiences who will get a kick out of watching the teaming of the older movie veteran, Fonda with her younger hot latina star Lopez in this romantic comedy farce.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Monster In Law, Monster In-Law, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, J Lo, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Will Arnett, Annie Parisse, Monet Mazur, Robert Luketic, Richard LaGravenese, Anya Kochoff, Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, michael Flynn, mother in law

Following in the tradition of comedies like Father of the Bride, Meet the Parents and Guess Who among others, Monster in Law’s premise entails what a soon to be wed character must endure when coming face to face with his or her future in laws.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Monster In Law, Monster In-Law, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, J Lo, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Will Arnett, Annie Parisse, Monet Mazur, Robert Luketic, Richard LaGravenese, Anya Kochoff, Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, michael Flynn, mother in law

In this case, the bride to be is Charlie, short for Charlotte (Jennifer Lopez) a single, pretty temp worker who dabbles in jobs ranging from part time medical receptionist, caterer, yoga instructor, to dog walker when not dreaming of finding her perfect mate. How she can afford to pay the rent for her high priced apartment overlooking the trendy Venice beach boardwalk just yards away from the ocean is beyond belief. I don’t know about you, but seeing less than rich movie characters living in expensive gorgeous digs always throws a wrench into a story’s credibility.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Monster In Law, Monster In-Law, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, J Lo, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Will Arnett, Annie Parisse, Monet Mazur, Robert Luketic, Richard LaGravenese, Anya Kochoff, Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, michael Flynn, mother in lawBut, let me not digress.  In this tale, Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) locks eyes with the man of her dreams, handsome doctor Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan of TV’s Alias) one day, while walking the dogs on the beach. It seems to be inevitable for the pair to get together since, because – no surprise- they keep running into each other. One date leads to another, they move in together, and Kevin decides to take Charlie to meet his mother, Viola Fields (Jane Fonda) a Barbara Walters type network reporter who is about to be replaced by someone the network feels would appeal to a younger demographic.

Things come to a head for Viola, a control freak, when she experiences a meltdown during an interview with a Britney Spears clone. Viola sees red and attempts to strangle the pop star when the airhead performer responds to a question about Roe vs. Wade as if it was about boxing. As a result of her on camera breakdown, Viola is sent to the “funny farm”. And, if losing her job and now this isn’t enough, upon returning home Viola must face the fact that her only son is going to marry a woman she deems is not only out of place in her son’s world, but not good enough for him.  This, of course, sends Viola on a mission to do whatever it takes to break up the relationship.  That means setting a plot into motion that consists of moving in with the couple and using all sorts of absurd tactics to drive Charlie crazy. For instance, while Kevin is away on a medical conference Viola demands that Charlie sleeps in the same bed with her. Viola uses this as a chance to pretend violent nightmares in her sleep, allowing her to beat and slap Charlie. And, whenever Charlie sits down to watch TV Viola makes it impossible by joining her and talking incessantly. Eventually, Viola comes to realize she has met her match, when Charlie uncovers her schemes.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Monster In Law, Monster In-Law, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, J Lo, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Will Arnett, Annie Parisse, Monet Mazur, Robert Luketic, Richard LaGravenese, Anya Kochoff, Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, michael Flynn, mother in law

Jane Fonda has been mostly known as a dramatic actress with a few comedies on her resume. But, nothing compares to the role of Viola in which Jane delivers a hysterical over the top performance that is rightfully fitting to this comedy farce.  Jane has aged well, facial lines and all, and looks great, fit and trim in a fabulous wardrobe befitting a woman of Viola’s upper class status.  I can also say that J. Lo hold her own when pitted against Fonda.  This is just what she needed after that Gigli disaster.  Unfortunately, Michael Vartan’s role is another story. His has a small role and his scenes with J. Lo. evoke zero chemistry.  More heat between them would have been nice, but the central focus, after all, is the interactions between the two female stars.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Monster In Law, Monster In-Law, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, J Lo, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Will Arnett, Annie Parisse, Monet Mazur, Robert Luketic, Richard LaGravenese, Anya Kochoff, Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, michael Flynn, mother in law

However, the real scene-stealer is Wanda Sykes who plays Viola’s sassy, sarcastic personal assistant Ruby. Whenever around, the natural comedian generates the most laughter from the look on her face or whatever funny one-liner comes out of her mouth.

Predictable as it may be, Monster in Law is a funny comedy that I would recommend, especially seeing Jane Fonda back on screen. Let’s call it J. Lo meets J. Fo(e).  Now, that’s fitting!