starring Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott, Monet Mazur, Annie Parisse, Will Arnet and Elaine Stritch
written by Anya Kockoff
directed by Robert Luketic
Jane Fonda retired from the movie business fifteen years ago. At the time she said that it just wasn’t fun anymore. But now she’s back. As a comeback role, the part of Viola as the nightmarish mother-in-law in this movie is a great role. Lucky for Jane. And it is a juicy role. It’s crazy and over-the-top. It’s the kind of role to pave the way for a whole slew of new offers at her agent’s door.
The story is simple. A mother who jealously guards her (adult) son is bent on driving away his beautiful fiancé (Jennifer Lopez). Jenny Lo knows what Jane is doing and cleverly fights back. The two women come to a truce and, finally, acceptance. It’s a romantic comedy - the kind I like.
I thought Fonda looked old. Of course, she is supposed to look old. But I learned that in filming she refused a lot of makeup and insisted on being filmed much as she naturally is these days - grandma age. At first I was shocked by the old sound of her voice and the look of her face. This is the woman once known as Barbarella. Jane Fonda is iconic. But that was then and this is now. The film could have been funnier. But it is funny enough. I hope Fonda continues making more films. And Jennifer Lopez too, of course.