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Monster-in-Law (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 13 May 2005 (USA)
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.



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1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Paul Chamberlain
Beverly Hills Dog Owner
Coffee Shop Customer
Coffee Shop Clerk
Rochelle Flexer ...
Dr. Patel's Nurse
Wayne Nickel ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This relationship is going to be a real mother. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex references and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una suegra de cuidado  »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,105,133, 15 May 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


While watching A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Jane Fonda asks if anybody famous is in the movie, because she doesn't know any of them. She had previously worked with John Saxon (Detective Thompson) in The Electric Horseman (1979). See more »


Viola passes out face-first in a bowl of tripe, her hands clutched close to her chest, palms up. The shot switches to Charlie, then back to Viola. Viola's hands are now palms-down on the table. See more »


[first lines]
[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]
Remy: [Charlie sketching]
See more »


References Free Willy (1993) See more »


Where Happiness Lives
Written by Even Johansen
Performed by Magnet
Courtesy of Filter US Recordings
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User Reviews

Great another cliché. Just what we all need
4 May 2005 | by See all my reviews


Okay, so right off the bat I have to say that Monster In Law is bad. It's really dumb, cliché ridden, and common. It's not Showgirls bad but it is mediocre and I think I've had quite enough of mediocrity. I know many of you out there might be saying: "well what do you expect, Citizen Kane". Well, yes I do. At least the "Citizen Kane" of modern romantic comedies. Hell, I'll take an attempt at something unique or original; but to be honest I'm sick of settling and forgiving these films for their lack of creativity just because these movies are charming.

Set in the near future a space alien steals the DNA of…just kidding. Monster in Law is the story of the nicest girl ON THE PLANET (Jennifer Lopez) who meets the perfect man (Michael Vartan). When I say perfect I mean the dude is perfect; he's a surgeon, you see, and every time someone on his operating table dies he yells: "It…just… doesn't… get… any easier!!!" No, I'm kidding again. He is a surgeon, yes, but he's perfect so no one dies. Anyway, nicest girl, perfect man want to get married. Enter perfect man's mom (Jane Fonda). JaFo doesn't want MiVa to marry J.Lo. I wasn't quite sure of the reason why. I think it had to do with some sort socialite caste system. See, Jenny From The Block is merely a temp/dog walker and Hanoi Jane is a rich T.V, talk personality who drops names like a seagull at a statue. So obviously Lopez isn't good enough for Vaughn…I mean Vartan.

Over the course of the movies 90 minute running time you will be subjected to the following: Conspiracies to derail the wedding. The Clinging Mother who feigns anxiety attacks. The "Dogs attacking Prada/Gucci/Fendi" gag. The sleeping pill resulting in the face- in-the-worlds-worst-food/dish joke. And, if orange is the new black; allergy flare-ups in romantic comedies must be the new fart joke. Oh, and just when you think they couldn't possibly go there, the words: "You win, the wedding's off" actually are spoken thus giving us all the required rom-com conflict clichés.

There is something that I must concede. Wanda Sykes not only steals this movie from its two stars but she is so good that I would pay money to see her do it again (rental people rental). She is hilarious as Fonda's caustic quick-witted assistant. Sykes has made a career out of playing the sidekick and all her training has paid of beautifully. No one could've delivered the line: "I think I dislocated my vagina" as well as Sykes. She is the reason you won't ask for your money back at the end of Monster In Law.

Sykes aside Monster in Law has remained faithful to the unoriginal formula Hollywood has been recently churning out. I, for one am done forgiving talented people for being just good enough. You hear me Keanu! You make too much God Damned money to suck as often as you do. The same goes for Fonda and Lopez. Vartan gets a pass cause he's new.

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