He’s a rich, unattached scion of a political dynasty; she’s a hard-working maid whose mother and office “sis” prevent her from yearning for more. An upgraded “Cinderella” story in the Pretty Woman mold, Wayne Wang’s Maid in Manhattan (Columbia) makes agreeably diverting seeing for the majority of its 105-minute running time, though after the magic go out at midnight the film meanders through an autopilot resolution that lacks a glass slipper.
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Jennifer Lopez credibly sheds her diva image to play Marisa, a dedicated single mother who might or might not have been wed to the undependable, unimportant daddy of her ten-year-old child Ty (Tyler Posey). Far from pining away for her prince to come someday, Marisa imagine working her way up to a management position, however is hindered by the fatalistic attitudes of her peers and specifically of her defeatist mother.
Ralph Fiennes proves magnetic and lovely in the blandly composed Prince-Charming function of Christopher Marshall, a New York senatorial confident whose father and grandpa were profession political leaders. Unlike Marisa, Marshall has no apparent drive or passion about his work– though his agitated campaign supervisor (Stanley Tucci) has enough emotion for both of them. What he does have is a track record as a bit of an unimportant ladies’ male; he’s the one who appears to be on the lookout for his princess to come along.
And, the very first time he truly sees her, Marisa certainly looks the part. As a hotel maid, Marisa aims to be undetectable, in spite of being constantly surrounded by ostentation and high-end. One day, prodded by a coworker (Marissa Matrone), she succumbs to a short-lived temptation to play dress-up with a lavish clothing from the wardrobe of a wealthy guest. Naturally, that’s when Chris strolls in and sees her. A fairy godmother couldn’t have actually worked it out better.
Afterwards, the funny installs as Chris tries to pursue the lovely lady he met in the luxury suite– just to discover her inexplicably changed into another woman totally, pointless socialite Caroline Sincaire (broadly comic Natasha Richardson). And, obviously, Marisa must now prevent being seen by Chris in her hotel-maid personality, which results in obvious complications when she’s required to serve at a luncheon for Chris and Caroline.
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Marisa’s issue doesn’t leave the notice of the hotel’s extremely British butler, Lionel (Bob Hoskins); certainly, one believes that hardly any does. Crisply effective, unflappably dignified, and implicitly discreet, Hoskins is the extremely photo of the archetypal English butler (he supposedly studied the “Butler’s Manual” in preparation for the function), and one of the film’s unqualified enjoyments.
While Lopez and Fiennes are both appealing, there’s not much chemistry in between them, maybe due to the fact that Lopez keeps her character’s feet warily grounded in reality, never enabling herself to be swept along by the fantasy. Making up for that, Fiennes links effectively with pleasant young Posey, who as Marisa’s kid represents her susceptible side.
Along the way, the movie touches on concerns of class and opportunity, without trying to deal with these styles with any genuine depth or insight. Marisa has a couple of proud speeches and suggests that Chris has to understand more about life in the projects prior to minimizing their problems to sound bites, however this observation itself is simply another sound bite. (Somewhat surprisingly, the motion picture develops that Chris is a Republican– however not prior to first making clear that he has a strong ecological ballot record.).
The “Cinderella” formula reaches its pinnacle in a huge ballroom scene, in this case a trendy political event that Marisa participates in with Chris. Understanding that she’s risking her task with the masquerade, Marisa is identified to say goodbye; yet the fairy-tale formula lastly paves the way totally to contemporary sensibilities as the ballroom scene offers method to a bed room scene.
The story never ever rather restores its footing after that, as a series of perfunctory plot machinations packages the couple through an inescapable pattern of break up and reunion. By this point, though, the audience has either bought into the love or not; those who have will be along for the ride, and will be reasonably satisfied with the delighted ending. A creative, whimsical denouement ends the motion picture on a high note, concluding various plot threads and providing a glimpse into the characters’ futures.
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