I didn’t think ‘Second Act’ was going to be ‘Citizen Kane’ but I thought it would at least be fun. But the movie is kind of dour, and it’s bad, like, really bad. First of all, it wants to be two kinds of films: a workplace comedy wherein Maya (Jennifer Lopez) gets thrust into a corporate role by one of those impossible-but-it-happened situations. But it also tries to be a mother-daughter drama, of mother who finds the daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) she gave up for adoption when she was sixteen years old. And the film ends up not succeeding on either point.
Lopez id game, and I actually do think she is a more than competent actress, but it makes me kind of wonder why she would choose to do this project. At this point, she needs to do projects that would showcase her talents well, and this ain’t it. You actually have to hand her dedication to the character as surely she realizes that the film she is doing here is crap. Leah Remini, who plays her friend/sidekick gets a lot of one-liners, but otherwise a thankless part of the movie. For Broadway geeks like me, it was nice to see Annaleigh Ashford here, too. And Vanessa Hudgens also holds her own against Lopez – she matches her in outfits, glamour, and even in acting ability.
And while I do lament my lukewarmness towards the film, I guess I must acknowledge that the crowd I went with seemed like they were having a good time.