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Monster-in-Law (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  13 May 2005 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 38,672 users   Metascore: 31/100
Reviews: 226 user | 131 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Monster-in-Law (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kit
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Stephen Dunham ...
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Beverly Hills Dog Owner
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Rochelle Flexer ...
Wayne Nickel ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She met the perfect man. Then she met his mother. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Schwiegermonster  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,307,593 (Italy) (7 October 2005)

Gross:

$1,307,593 (Italy) (7 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the photos of Viola Fields on her table with famous people are real pictures of Jane Fonda with Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, Jon Voight and Gloria Steinem. The only "doctored" item is the cover of Time Magazine, which Fonda was set to appear on the cover of, however Pope John Paul II's Death in 2005 took the headline and subsequently, the cover. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie and Viola are watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, the scene in the movie where Freddy chases Tina is shown first and a few moments later the scene where Freddy appears for the very first time is shown, like the movie is playing backwards. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Grease (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Mama
Written by Clarence Carter, Marcus Daniel and Wilbur Terrell
Performed by Etta James
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jane Fonda's Bittersweet Return To The Screen
17 May 2005 | by (Albany, NY) – See all my reviews

Jane Fonda is one of the great stars in the Hollywood firmament. A beautiful woman and gifted actress, the motion picture camera has been an unflinching repository for her acting genius. Even in her lesser films Fonda always revealed a spark of creativity that often distinguished her from most of her acting contemporaries. With 6 Academy Award nominations to her credit and 2 Oscar wins for Best Actress, her legacy is firmly established. How sad it is then to report that her return to the screen after a 15 year hiatus is squandered on a wretchedly written, clumsily directed romantic comedy that is an embarrassment for not only Fonda but a talented supporting cast.

"Monster-in-Law" represents what seems to be an increasingly generic brand of comedy. Gone are the days of sharply observant romantic entertainments when writers knew where to throw in a bit of farce or add a dollop of cynicism. Directors such as Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges along with writers I.A.L. Diamond and Fay and Michael Kanin knew how to put an effective story together even if in hindsight the plausibility of the tale was suspect. Most contemporary movies are a completely different animal. Character motivation and good storytelling have been replaced by gross caricature and "connect-the-dots", formulaic writing that is as predictable as it is depressing.

"Monster-in-Law" takes many of its cues from an earlier Fonda comedy, the lamentable 1981 burlesque, "9 to 5". In that film three beleaguered secretaries wreak havoc on their sexist boss. The story was treated as pure farce and was marginally entertaining at best. There have been a score of "dumbed-down" comedies since. Unfortunately movie audiences seem easily pleased by this new comedy hybrid.

In "Monster-in-Law" Jane Fonda plays veteran television interviewer Viola Fields, a Diva from Hell who is determined to break up the impending marriage of her handsome, vacuous son (an L.A. surgeon) to Charlotte "Charlie" Cantilini (Jennifer Lopez), an office temp, part time caterer and dog walker. What starts out as only a mere semblance to reality quickly deteriorates into the most puerile farce imaginable soon after Viola makes her entrance. Viola is a psychotic mixture of brass balls and vulnerability and Ms. Fonda plays her to the hilt. Her star wattage is undeniable but this is not a particularly good performance. Most of the fault lies with Anya Kocheff's execrable screenplay and Robert Luketic's sledgehammer direction. Rationality is thrown out the window for the witless line and easy laugh. Only Wanda Sykes emerges relatively unscathed playing Viola's sarcastic assistant. Her Ruby is the one genuinely funny character in the movie. Otherwise "Monster-in-Law" is a mess and possibly the worst movie of Jane Fonda's career.


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