Romantic comedies will always be riddled with clichés, and it’s something that while you can’t get away from it, you can do your best to add a touch of originality to it in order to make it stand out above the rest. However, if originality can’t be found, at the very least, chemistry between the two stars must be there to carry the film. Maid in Manhattan lacks in the originality department, and unfortunately for those involved (and for those who have watched it) it also lacks in chemistry as well.
The movie, which was released in 2002, stars Jennifer Lopez as Marisa Ventura, a maid at a New York hotel. The story uses the Cinderella/mistaken identity approach, as Marisa is mistaken for a rich socialite by senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) after he walks in on her while she’s trying on an outfit owned by a wealthy guest. She, of course, goes along with it, since she doesn’t want to lose her job, which she needs to support herself and her son.
The problem is, the way the two instantly fall for one another just doesn’t flow well. Sure there has to be that instant connection in these types of films between the two stars, as they only have two hours or less to end up together, but there also has to be some sort of foundation to build from. Lopez and Fiennes never seem to click, and the story surrounding them (i.e., getting in the way of them being together) just doesn’t fully come together at any point. There was no point throughout that I honestly wanted to see the two together, and without that, there’s really nothing to go by.
And I would be wrong to let the film off the hook on account of all the fluff going on. Sure there are plenty of rom-coms that are strictly fluff, with no real lasting appeal outside of the entertainment felt while it’s being watched; but this one doesn’t even give the viewer that. With a great many choices in the genre, it’s easy to dismiss the bad apples, and Maid in Manhattan is one big, bad apple.
Maid in Manhattan was given the transformation treatment into HD 1080p. The colours look great, and the picture quality is where it should be for this time of format, though unfortunately none of this makes up for the content that’s being watched. The sound is also a solid upgrade, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1, even though the movie may come together better with the film on mute.
The special features consist of a blooper reel. This is ironic, as many would say that the actual film is roughly a two-hour blooper reel itself.
There’s not much to say about the Blu-ray release of Maid in Manhattan other than stay away from it. There are plenty of other romantic comedies out there more deserving of the Blu-ray upgrade, as in the big picture, this one doesn’t even ping as a blip on the radar of anything worth watching.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents Maid in Manhattan. Directed by: Wayne Wang. Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Natasha Richardson. Running time: 105 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: February 2, 2010. Available at Amazon.com
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.
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