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Maid in Manhattan
A Cinderella story about a maid in a first class Manhattan hotel who, by a twist of fate and mistaken identity, is noticed by a famous politician, and has a chance to live her dreams.

Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Dec 18, 2002
I enjoyed this movie tremendously. I think that Jennifer Lopez did a wonderful job acting, and I loved the little boy.

It is one of the better movies that I have seen in the past year, and it restored my faith back into the movie industry. I do not suggest this movie for the guys as much because it is a 'chick flick' romantic comedy. I'm and action girl myself, but this movie was a great break for me.
Dec 23, 2002
A sweet wonderful comedy that will remind viewers of the 1989 film "Pretty Woman," but that's ok, as long as the forumla continues to work, and "Maid in Manhatten" did just that.

Jennifer Lopez played a maid, who falls for a congressman, played by Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes gave a very sweet performance, compared to to the dark villian in "Red Dragon" a few months ago. Lopez did very good as the maid who is looking to get out of her drab life.

The best thing about "Maid in Manhatten," that it made me smile. Not many comedies can answer that.
Jan 7, 2003
Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), Marissa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) and her son, Ty (Tyler Posey), scale a Central Park rock formation surrounded by lush trees as they gaze over the horizon lined with Manhattan's skyscrapers in director Wayne Wang's Maid in Manhattan. One of the characters states the obvious: `It's like two different worlds.' Later in the film, Ventura's best friend, Stephanie Kehoe (Marissa Matrone), uses the same line to convince Ventura that efforts to pursue a relationship with Marshall will be in vain.

Screenwriter Kevin Wade resisted subtlety in this modern Cinderella story, and the entire film is predictably predictable and laden with flat characters. Marshall is the smooth Republican senatorial candidate with captivating blue eyes and the perfect smile. Ventura is the beautiful and intelligent maid who deserves a more luxurious life than the one she lives in the Bronx. Ty is the ideal son who serves as Marshall and his mother's love catalyst. Jerry Siegel (Stanley Tucci), Marshall's campaign manager, suffers from constant anxiety and stress due to Marshall's public behavior and inability to concentrate on the senatorial race. Ultimately, the final credits roll an unending list of prototype characters.

But Maid in Manhattan surprisingly emerges as a simple but enjoyable cinematic delight. The lessons of the film are simple but poignant and important in the tradition of many holiday classics. Ventura reminds Marshall that societal problems are daily realities rather than matters of political debate for large populations that, on many levels, understand political issues more viscerally than governmental candidates who use the issues to secure votes and a desirable public reputation. The butler, Lionel Bloch (Bob Hoskins) tells Ventura, `What we do does not define who we are.' Ventura's friends support the unfortunate truism that it's not about what you have or what you know but about who you know. Finally, Ventura gives people hope that any dream--as impossible as it may seem--is truly attainable.

Audience members will recognize the many lessons of the film do little but to reinforce common knowledge, and they will also recognize that Maid in Manhattan enjoys success because of the well delivered performances by Fiennes, Lopez, Posey and the supporting cast. Fiennes and Posey share the first satisfying moment long after the opening scene of the film with their engaging conversation in the hotel elevator. The three main characters--those played by Fiennes, Lopez and Posey--share the next entirely pleasurable scene with two French women in the same elevator, and at this point the film finally reaches its tolerable pace. Fiennes did not have much material to create an extremely compelling and dynamic character, but he achieves in portraying a charming and self-admittedly less-than-perfect politician.

Lopez struggles onscreen until her onscreen chemistry with Fiennes rescues her from a rigid performance. Once she relaxes, however, she delivers an endearing performance. She is sweet but capable of dishonesty. Vulnerable but aggressive. Common but inexplicably highly extraordinary. She is human. Lopez is not an accomplished screen veteran, but she does not always make the obvious acting choice, which sets her apart from other actresses with similar screen experience. She carries an embodied knowledge of the truth that minorities are often `stereotypes or invisible,' and this understanding makes her shine in scenes that deal with this difficult issue.

Tucci illustrates the point that memorable performances are a product of quality rather than quantity in terms of screen time. His character not only must deal with the fact that Marshall is a campaign manager's public nightmare, but he also must endure professional humiliation when Marshall gives him extra duties as his beloved dog's caretaker. He is not subtle, he pushes the panicked and anal campaign manager caricature to an extreme, his character's personality is entirely unlikable and yet audience members walk away loving the unlovable Jerry Siegel.

Maid in Manhattan does not deserve a Best Picture nomination or any award nomination for that matter, but one must doubt that Wayne Wang or any member of the creative team set out to create an Oscar-winning sensation. In one respect, this is a sad commentary on the entertainment industry and general artistic integrity. In an ideal world, artists would only sign on to pictures that they believed would achieve the highest expectations of the industry. As every person knows, however, this is not an ideal world, and sometimes the only goal is to create an entertaining blockbuster hit. In these terms, the film is a definite success, and to criticize it for lack of artistic merit or originality is asinine as it never claimed to be anything more than an updated version of the Cinderella story.
Feb 14, 2003
Mar 14, 2003
This movie surprised me in a good way. I also liked the way it ended...while it ended on a good note, it wasn\'t 100% how you expected it to end.
May 21, 2003
As romantic comedies go, this film is utterly predictable, and mostly enjoyable.

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