Second Act

Jennifer Lopez stars as a beauty consultant with a secret in Peter Segal’s 'Second Act'


Second Act ★★ 1/2 

A modern-day Cinderella story that might appeal to fans of Maid in Manhattan, Peter Segal’s Second Act features the 2002 romantic drama’s lead actress, Jennifer Lopez, as Maya, a working-class 40-year-old who dreams big. But when those dreams are fulfilled through less-than-honest means, the former sales clerk at a big-box retailer struggles to reveal the truth to her new employers, who’ve unknowingly hired her as a high-end beauty consultant, based partially on a fraudulent resume that claims the high school dropout is an Ivy League grad. So far, so predictable. But that’s just one of the films nestled into the script by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) and Maid in Manhattan’s producer, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. You see, in her new job overseeing beauty products, Maya comes to the realization that people are overwhelmed by the amount of options. Why spend money on many skin creams when you could buy an all-in-one solution? Likewise, if you can cram multiple plots into one picture, all the better, right? Sure, if you can get past a mid-movie twist that not only strains credibility, but detaches so far from reality as to truly make this a fairy tale. But in this current climate, perhaps fairy tales are what audiences crave. Believability be damned, the film’s fantasy is nevertheless well-served by genial performances from Leah Remini as Maya’s best friend, Vanessa Hudgens as her much-younger work rival, Treat Williams as her new boss, Milo Ventimiglia as her patient boyfriend—but most of all, from Lopez herself. (At Assembly Row, Boston CommonSouth Bay and in the suburbs.)

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