The love life of Charlotte is reduced to an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets the perfect man, Kevin. Unfortunately, his merciless mother will do anything to destroy their relationship.
Mary Fiore is San Francisco's most successful supplier of romance and glamor. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom.
After years of looking for Mr. Right, Charlotte 'Charlie' Cantilini finally finds the man of her dreams, Kevin Fields, only to discover that his mother, Viola, is the woman of her nightmares. A recently fired news anchor who is afraid she will lose her son the way she has just lost her career, Viola determines to scare off her son's new fiancé by becoming the world's worst mother-in-law. While Viola's long-time assistant Ruby does her best to help Viola execute her crazy schemes, Charlie decides to fight back and the gloves come off as the two women battle it out to see just who is the alpha-female. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The mansion where Charlie picks up the dogs she walks was used as the exterior of the Governor's mansion in the sitcom Benson (1979). See more »
When Charlie's dress rips, the rip is visible and her hair is messed up but in the next shot the rip disappears and her hair is perfectly fine again. See more »
[Charlie sitting at her desk at home. Phone rings. Charlie lets the answering machine pick up and listens to the recording]
Charlotte 'Charlie' Cantilini:
[Answering machine message]
Hi, it's Charlie. Leave a message.
[Answering machine beeps to signal beginning of message]
Carol, from LA Temp Agency:
[Leaving message on answering machine]
Hi Charlie, it's Carol from the L.A. Temp Agency. Listen, Dr. Patel's office needs you for tomorrow. Is that ok? Let me know. Bye.
[Answering machine beeps signaling end of message]
[...] See more »
As a fan of Jane Fonda's acting, I was mildly interested in seeing this movie, her first in many years. I wish now that I hadn't wasted my time.
Granted, Jane Fonda is an asset to "Monster-in-Law." She brims with radiance and plays the Viola role with tremendous flair (although the psychosis of her character sometimes seems forced and exaggerated). My favorite scene, actually, is when she flies off the handle and tries to strangle a young singer whom she is interviewing on her talk show. There are a few moments where she effectively conveys the insecurity and desperation beneath Viola's nasty exterior. Nonetheless, even a brilliant actress cannot save a movie with such a weak script.
Take, for instance, the first few scenes, when Charlie and Kevin meet (in a most whimsical fashion, may I add). This introduction seems too drawn-out and ultimately worthless to the plot. I found myself mentally tuning out for the sake of my sanity.
Speaking of the two lovers, I'd be hard-pressed to name a more boring on-screen couple. J-Lo, as has been mentioned frequently on this site, comes across as too sweet and innocent and perfect throughout most of the movie. Simply put, she's annoying. I kept wishing they could have cast a more watchable actress. The Kevin character, also, has zero substance and is bland. He is like a prop that they casually drag into the movie whenever they need some filler between Charlie/Viola catfights.
Wanda Sykes, as Viola's assistant, is fairly comical and works much better with Jane Fonda than J-Lo does. Viola's mother-in-law also delivers her lines in an entertainingly caustic way. However, these two women do not have much screen time at all.
"Monster-in-Law" progresses as a string of loosely connected arguments. The result is tedious and mundane. There is no climax, really. If you've seen one spat between Charlie and Viola, you've seen them all. They spew petty insults...they seek revenge on each other...they go on to the next scene and repeat it all over again. It might be juicy if it weren't so repetitive, and if a different actress were squaring off against Jane Fonda, and if the dialogue weren't quite so stale.
The ending is literally an embarrassment. Oh, I won't give it away...except to say that I felt as if I were watching the end of a "Full House" episode. Yes folks, the music and lines are THAT corny and predictable. By the way, this is not a central plot point by any means, but Charlie's bridal gown is not particularly flattering. More like flattening. It makes her look as if she has no chest at all!
Anyhow, I would not recommend this fluffy, somewhat empty movie, which hardly evoked a laugh or even a smile from me. If you still want to see it, go ahead, but definitely don't expect too much. I saw this movie just a couple of hours ago and have already forgotten about most of it. Not that I'm complaining.
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