Second Act

Jennifer Lopez in a scene from Second Act. (Empire Entertainment)
Jennifer Lopez in a scene from Second Act. (Empire Entertainment)


Value Shop assistant manager Maya Vargas (Jennifer Lopez) wants only one thing for her 43rd birthday - a promotion. While her résumé may not scream upper management, her track record certainly does. Vargas is an innovator who listens to her customers and delivers results. When she loses the job to a college-educated candidate, Maya sets out to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts - and it's never too late for a second act.


When I first saw the trailer for Second Act I immediately thought ‘this is so Maid in Manhattan’.

Maria and Maya have a lot in common: they are business savvy but don’t have a tertiary qualification, they are both working class women and they both pretend to be someone who they are not which leads to both a personal and professional blow-up.

Second Act feels very much like a dated carbon copy - with an older Jennifer Lopez and a storyline that has been slightly updated.

Jennifer’s Maya is supposed to be the everyday woman but what happens to her feels like a fairy-tale. I know that it is a movie but I wish that it was grounded in some reality. 

This movie does have a message – the inequality between the classes – but it gets lost in the rags to riches tropes.  

The other issue that I had with this flick is that it doesn’t know what genre it wants to be. The third quarter of the film becomes a family drama. There is a big ‘plot twist’ involving Vanessa Hudgens' character that is so predictable.

And that is this movie’s biggest flaw, it’s predictability – the jokes are ones we’ve heard before, the friends are characters we have seen before and the love story is sadly one we have seen too many times. 

With that being said, the movie does have some moments – a few good one-liners, great wardrobe and a cool soundtrack. I enjoyed the comedic scenes with Charlyne Yi who plays one of Maya’s assistants, Ariana, she was a breath of fresh air.

Jennifer Lopez tries really hard but there isn’t anything new that she can do with a role that she has played before. I thought this would be Jenny’s big romantic comedy comeback but she needs a second take.

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