Monster-in-Law

December 10, 2005 - Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda square off in this 2005 comedy. Wanda Sykes and Michael Vartan also star.

Lopez plays Charlie, a clothing designer who makes ends meet by doing a series of temp jobs including dog walker and receptionist at a doctor's office. One day, while walking dogs, she literally runs into Kevin, a hunky doctor played by Vartan. They meet again when Charlie serves hors d'ouerves at a party Kevin is hosting. After that, he seeks her out, they start dating and they move in together.

Then, it's time to meet Kevin's mom, Viola (Fonda). She's a Barbara Walters-type host of a TV show who went off the deep-end after learning she was being replaced by a younger woman. After three months in the looney bin, she's home.

Viola likes Charlie well enough until Kevin suddenly proposes. After that, the war is on, with Viola trying to drive Charlie away and Charlie fighting to keep her man.

Overall review: ** This film is about 90 minutes long, but it seemed longer. Lopez got top billing, but this movie is all about Fonda. She plays her character over-the-top, and does it over and over. There's not really a lot to like about her. Wanda Sykes practically steals the film as Viola's sassy assistant, and Elaine Strich upstages Fonda in a small but pivotal role as Viola's own monster-in-law.