I saw Second Act with my folks, and my father’s limited knowledge of pop culture meant he walked in blind to the film’s plot. His confusion was noteworthy. “What is this movie about,” he asked cantankerously. “I feel as if I walked in twenty minutes late,” he furthered. When I told him it’s about reinvention or a woman’s second shot at a new path in life, he barked, “Well that is NOT clear.”
Second Act begins with Maya’s (Jennifer Lopez) attempt at landing a big promotion. When she is passed up for a more education man, her friend Joan’s (Leah Remini) internet-savvy son submits her resume to another job without her knowledge. Because the resume is filled with inflated lies about her education and work history, she lands it. What follows is a poor man’s Working Girl (insert rivalry, a jealous and suspicious employee, and a former boss who could blow her cover). As for the rivalry, it comes with a twist that removes the movie’s conflict far too early in the film. The subsequent schmaltz-fest is just too much to bare. There’s a little levity provided by the very funny Leah Remini but unfortunately for the television comedy veteran, she simply does not have much to work with.
It should be noted that I’m a massive fan of Jennifer Lopez, and I very much wanted this movie to work. Romantic comedies are far and few between these days, and I appreciate the effort.