Film Review: Second Act

Jennifer Lopez stars in this mostly predictable mistaken identity comedy, which shares a lot of DNA with her 2002 mistaken identity comedy Maid In Manhattan.

Given JLo has basically already played the role before 16 years earlier, it’s interesting to note that Second Act was all set to topline Julia Roberts until quite late in the day, until Roberts departed for Amazon’s Homecoming leaving JLo to slip seamlessly into the role.

On her 40th birthday, Queens resident Maya (Lopez) is all set for a hopeful promotion at a store that looks like WalMart (but, for legal reasons, isn’t. She’s worked at the place for 15 years and has given her heart and soul (of course), but is turned down due to her lack of a college degree (a storyline set-up reminiscent of Kevin Hart’s dopier Night School a few months back).

Comforted by her bestie Joan (Leah Remini) and her forgiving boyfriend Trey (Milo Ventimiglia), the plot mechanics start grinding when she’s weirdly summoned for a major consulting job at a cosmetics firm and then hired by big boss Anderson Clarke (Treat Williams trying hard). It turns out that a sham Facebook page full of fake honours and fraudulent achievements was created by her boffin godson Dilly (Dalton Harrod), and while she should admit to the unintentional deception in order not to get sued, she instead takes the job, as there would be a very short running-time if she didn’t.

Creating an enemy in VP Zoe (Vanessa Hudgens), Anderson’s daughter, a three-month competition is created when opposing sides are tasked with creating new, more organic skincare lines, and Maya teams up with uptight exec Hildy (Annaleigh Ashford), nerdy science-type Chase (Alan Aisenberg) and acrophobic assistant Ariana (Charlene Yi, quite funny really).

There are a few turns (if not quite twists) to Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas’ script primarily this is so ploddingly familiar that even if you haven’t seen it, you’ll swear that you have.

Second Act (M) is in cinemas from December 6

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