#REVIEW: “SECOND ACT”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Maya Vargas (Jennifer Lopez) has been working at the same Queens Value Shop for the past 15 years. In that time she has only been raised to the title of Assistant Manager. On her birthday, she wishes for one thing: a promotion. She knows it’s going to take a lot of work and convincing considering the highest level of education on her résumé is her GED, but her years of hard work should speak for itself. When she fails to get the promotion she deserves, a close friend’s teenage son invents a résumé for Maya that embellishes her educational and work background. When a job at a high-end company in Manhattan comes calling, she sets out to prove that street smarts are just as valuable of book smarts.
Second Act is a conventional story of working hard no matter your background and making a life for yourself. This Film separates itself from ones before it by adding the star power of Jennifer Lopez, plus a unique plot twist. Whether or not audiences buy it or not might be questionable, although Second Act stands- out from others in the genre. Another reason it is unique is due to its Supporting Characters, courtesy of Screenwriters Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. They feel entirely authentic and hilarious without ever going over the top.
Leah Remini who plays Maya’s best friend Joan, is a scene-stealer. She’s a straight-shooting mother who raises her children with the perfect balance of being parent and friend. Remini’s comedic timing and delivery leave a mark and I can’t help but feel she needed more screen-time. Vanessa Hudgens plays Zoe, a young woman who rivals Maya’s idea for an all-natural skincare line. She shows both the competitive side of women and their empathic sides. Then there is Milo Ventimiglia who plays Maya’s boyfriend. He has the ability to make mundane dialogue feel genuine. The chemistry between Ventimiglia and Lopez is strong and the scenes in which they are together have the most emotional impact on the Film.
Overall, Second Act will give you gleeful laughs and exactly what you expect it to be, which isn’t a bad thing.
Elevation Pictures will release SECOND ACT on Friday, December 21, 2018.