Buy This Film
2005
Rated: PG-13 for violence and mild language.
Genre: Romance Comedy
Directed By: Robert Luketic
Running Time: 1:35
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 4/29/06
DVD Features:
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes with optional director's commentary
Easter Eggs
Featurette:
1) "Welcome Back Jane"
2) "A Jennifer of All Trades"
3) "Vartan the Man"
4) "Trendsetters" 2-part featurette

MONSTER-IN-LAW

 

One of the saving graces for “Monster in Law” is the talents of Wanda Sykes. What could have been a token role is turned in to a real and very funny supporting character, and Sykes’ ingenious ability to take one-liners and make it jab at the audiences make her scenes really funny. She’s a great character who keeps the Viola character grounded in reality and is never afraid to tell her how to shut her mouth even calling her an old slut at one scene. Fonda gladly knows how to hold her own against the comedian playing against her and some of the funniest sequences here involve Fonda and Sykes exchanging hilarious dialogue.

A young man meets a girl he falls in love with her, and brings her home to meet his parents. With disastrous results. Does this sound like a familiar story? Well, it should, because as far as Hollywood is concerned, we’ve long forgotten “Meet the Parents” and this idea is fresh and original. “Monster in Law” is yet another variation on the “Meet the Parents” formula. Who knew such a crappy movie would have such an influence? But as far as this film is concerned, it’s intent on ripping off the former from top to bottom. Whether it’s the overbearing controlling parent, the investigation the parents makes in to their children’s partner, and all the physical comedy you can fit in over ninety minutes. Jane Fonda’s return to film (?!) is a truly underwhelming misguided return to a film that we’ve seen a thousand times unfortunately.

Here’s the actress from “The China Syndrome” and “Klute” starring in a mediocre romantic comedy that doesn’t flex her talents and poses as nothing more than a vehicle to bring her back into the public eye once more. But couldn’t she have starred in a film that showed audience how much critics loved her once instead of appearing in another J.Lo “look at how sexy I am” resume filler? We waited all these years for Fonda to return to film just to see her plop her face in a plate of tripe, and run around in a tribal dress screaming? Was that the attempt at re-emerging into the film world that her agent had in mind? Because, Fonda, in all her talents, deserves to star in a much better film that shows audiences once again what made her a legend. Jennifer Lopez is to Jane Fonda as Rob Schneider is to Groucho Marx. Which is not to say Fonda doesn’t give a good performance here she can be funny, but she makes a fool of herself. And the director intends on making a fool out of her. “Monster-in-Law” is yet another unfunny carbon copy cookie cutter romance comedy starring one of the greatest actresses of the twentieth century.

Though, it’s not the worst movie ever made if I had to choose a comeback for Jane Fonda, this mediocre romantic comedy would definitely be the last on my list. It wouldn’t even be on the list. Though it has its occasional charming moments, and Wanda Sykes is hilarious, it’s basically an embarrassing comeback for such an excellent actress.

 

 

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