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February 27, 2019

Second Act (2018) --- "Her Talent Was Real. Her Resume Was Not."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed by Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Shameless) and written by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List, The Big Wedding) and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas (Maid in Manhattan, Kidnap), Second Act (2018) is the latest romantic comedy about Maya (Jennifer Lopez), a middle-aged store employee who is passed over for a promotion because she never finished high school. When her wisecracking best friend Joan (Leah Remini) tech-savvy stepson Dilly (Dalton Harrod) secretly reworks Maya's social media presence and résumé, and next thing she knows she is being offered a high-paying position at a cosmetics corporation. Can she carry her secret to her grave? Or will it all blow up in her face?
     Second Act (2018) is a genuinely enjoyable and humorous film that will leave a smile on your face. The strength of the film lies in how it showcases the character relationships and how the characters tell their stories. The film manages to convey character depth without feeling heavy-handed, while there is a nice level of comfort and chemistry between Maya and her loved ones. There are also secondary characters that hover around the main characters and are just as important to the story. This takes the film beyond being another typical rom-com and instead makes it a fun film that allows for each character to contribute towards delivering the film’s message, while still staying relevant to the story. In addition, Second Act bypasses a majority of the stereotypical mushy themes that associate rom-coms, instead utilizes a quick pace and a stronger moral based theme that is a better representation of reality.
      Starring Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue), Vanessa Hudgens (The Princess Switch), Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us), Leah Remini (The King of Queens, Kevin Can Wait), and Trent Williams (Chicago Fire, Hair), Second Act is filled with solid performances of character depth and comedic moments. I am not a huge fan of Lopez’s music but I am a huge fan of a majority of her films, especially Selena (1992) and Maid in Manhattan (2002). While I have seen her play similar characters before, I couldn’t think of anyone better to play the role of Maya. Her romantic chemistry with Ventimiglia is great, although I wish that he had more screen time. Hudgens did a fantastic job as the daughter and right-hand of the CEO and Remini is an amazing delight as the main source of the film’s comedy, both provide great chemistry and solid relationships for Lopez’s character.

     Overall, Second Act (2018) is a humorous and entertaining rom-com that strays from the typical rom-com film by utilizing a quick pace and a stronger moral based theme that is a better representation of reality. The story’s strength also lies within the character depth and character relationships, meaning that the characters are allowed to tell their own stories without feeling heavy-handed. The character performances were solid all around: Lopez is perfect, Hudgens is fantastic, Remini is delightfully comedic, and Ventimiglia and Williams were great. If you enjoyed films like Maid in Manhattan (2002) and 13 Going on 30 (2004) then you will certainly enjoy this film.

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Bewitched (2005)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Hope Springs (2012)
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
I Feel Pretty (2018)
Julie & Julia (2009)
Just My Luck (2006)
Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
Monster in Law (2005)
The Nanny Diaries (2007)
The Other Woman (2014)
The Princess Diaries (2001)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Ricki and the Flash (2015)
Set It Up (2018)
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Uptown Girls (2003)

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