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Monster-in-Law (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 13 May 2005 (USA)
1:21 | Trailer

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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.



3,639 ( 1,368)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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


She met the perfect man. Then she met his 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:

Das Schwiegermonster  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,312,679 (UK) (13 May 2005)


$82,931,301 (USA) (2 September 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jane Fonda said that she based her character on her ex-husband Ted Turner. 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 »


Referenced in Stacked: Romancing the Stones (2006) See more »


Won't U Please B Nice
Written by Nellie McKay
Performed by Nellie McKay
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with SONY BMG Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable to watch as long as you don't take it too seriously
13 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Charlotte Honeywell (Jennifer Lopez) has had problems finding the perfect man until she starts dating Kevin (Michael Vartan). Thing are going well until she meets his overbearing mother (Jane Fonda), a recently fired news anchorwoman who takes her aggression out on her son's new girlfriend with help from her assistant Ruby (Wanda Sykes). But Charlotte is ready to fight back.

The premise is rather old and it has been done to death recently. Shrek 2, Meet the Fockers, Guess Who and now this film. I still enjoy this type of comedy but this is the worse one of the previous four. However, Monster-in-Law is still an enjoyable movie. It doesn't offer anything memorable but it's pretty entertaining while it lasts. I'll admit the movie is highly unrealistic from the cruel stuff Fonda and Lopez do to each other to the nice home Lopez owns despite the fact that it looks way too expensive for her to own. Some of the cruel things they do to each other is pretty funny while other times it's just a bit too much. Luckily, there really isn't too much of this material since the movie is only 100 minutes long. So the film hardly gets boring and it ends before it wears out its welcome.

The acting is alright, with a few performances really saving the movie. Jane Fonda gives a really funny performance as Charlotte. She does go over the top but her performance is still a lot of fun to watch on screen. Jennifer Lopez gives a bland performance, nothing special. Her chemistry with Fonda is weak and their scenes aren't as good as they could have been. Wanda Sykes offers a funny performance as Ruby. Her scenes with Jane Fonda are the best things about the movie though she gets a little annoying. Michael Vartan is kind of just there and he doesn't really do anything special.

Robert Luketic directs and he does an okay job. He could have made the film a little more realistic and a little less sitcomish but the movie turned out okay. The audience I saw this with were really into it and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Obviously, critics won't like this film but those looking for a nice comedy should check out this movie. It is a little mean spirited and predictable but this doesn't take away too much from the movie. In the end, Monster-in-Law is a good time passer, nothing more or less. Rating 7/10

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