FILM REVIEW: Second Act

Jennifer Lopez is back.

Not that she really went away, with her music career and TV appearances consistently feeding the JLovers’ appetite.

But it’s been a while since we had some big screen JLo fare to sink our teeth into.

Luckily, we now have Second Act to remind us of the Lopez movies of old.

While it’s not a good as Maid in Manhattan or The Wedding Planner, it’s still pretty enjoyable.

The rom-com queen stars as Maya Vargas, a supermarket assistant manager who is fed up with being overlooked for a promotion because of her lack of college education.

But after her brainy godson gives her CV the Cinderella treatment, she finds herself working as a consultant for a high-end cosmetic company.

She immediately butts heads with the beautiful young vice-president of skin care, Zoe (Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical) and it looks for a moment like the film is going to devolve into pitting two stunning, successful women against each other.

But, joyfully, it doesn’t!

Back to business: Jennifer Lopez (second from right) leads the cast in her latest comedy, Second Act, rated M, in cinemas now.

Back to business: Jennifer Lopez (second from right) leads the cast in her latest comedy, Second Act, rated M, in cinemas now.

Even though it’s only okay as far as quality film-making goes, Second Act should be commended for the importance it places on meaningful relationships – not just romantic, but the relationships between friends, family and professional colleagues.

In fact, the romantic relationships of the film are definitely the subplot.

Despite the prominent billing of This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Maya’s football coach boyfriend Trey, his role is very much secondary to the professional dramas Lopez’s character faces.

One of the most joyous relationships of the film is the friendship between Maya and her long-time best bud Joan.

Joan is played by Leah Remini, one of Lopez’s real-life best friends.

Also in the cast are Orange is the New Black’s Alan Aisenberg, Chicago Fire’s Treat Williams, Pretty Woman’s Larry Miller, Harry Potter’s Freddie Stroma and Scandal’s Dan Bucatinsky.

While not exactly a rom-com, Second Act still feels decidedly inside JLo’s wheelhouse and is everything you’d expect from the star.

Second Act is an easy, fun watch that slips right into Lopez’s resume.

Rating: 6/10