"Meet the Fonda"
Monster In-Law
Review by Ross Anthony

Pleasant enough in the opening, a young, average, beautiful girl falls in love with a rich handsome doctor. This act is light, fun, very very average. Soon enough we learn that the doctor's mother is a TV talk show diva who's just lost her job (which is the only thing she cared about, besides her son). With nothing left in her life to keep her sane, she aims both barrels of her hysteria toward the bride-to-be.

And so begins the second act with some momentum. However, any robust inertia quickly dissipates as the plot takes pointless, senseless twists just so the two women can inflict themselves on each other. Rather than being something special, "Monster In-Law" replays "Guess Who" and "Meet the Fockers" and and and.

The second act flat-lines into the third act that would have fallen completely dead were it not for a spicy bullheaded actress and some good lines. In fact, to be fair, the film does have its moments. I laughed. I rooted for the home team. And all involved perform more or less admirably (even the less important characters are also believable). It was the plot that wasn't. Oh, and kudos to Wanda Sykes, she makes a great wisecracking assistant to the monster. That said, the moments that were bad, were very bad. I winced more than once.

Says Jane Fonda of Lopez, "...this woman is deeply talented. She really knows her stuff. I can see her directing one day because she knows how to plan out each scene and she's not scared to try anything. She is very smart... We worked very well together, although I did get a little jealous when [director] Robert Luketic put her picture on his computer's screen saver!"

  • Monster In-Law. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Monet Mazur, Annie Parisse, Will Arnet.
  • Directed by Robert Luketic.
  • Screenplay by Anya Kochoff.
  • Produced by Paula Weinstein, Chris Bender, JC Spink at New Line/Benderspink/Spring Crk. (c) 2005.

Grade..........................B- (1.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:41 PDT