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Jennifer Lopez is in need of a hit and Jane Fonda hasn’t been seen in years, this was their big chance to regain some credibility in the cinema. Boy did they get it wrong.

Monster In Law
Charlotte Cantilini (Jennifer Lopez) is a happy go lucky kind of a gal who has great friends and a selection of eccentric and rewarding jobs. Accidentally she bumps into Dr Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan) and both fall in love. All is fine and dandy until Charlotte meets her mother in law, recently sacked American TV star Viola Fields (Jane Fonda) and a battle between the two women ensues, with hilarious consequences.

Wow does this movie stink! Sorry to shock sensitive readers but I thought I’d get straight to the point as not to waste any of your valuable time on this planet. I know it’s a chick flick, that’s obvious when you read the plot (I use the term ‘plot’ very loosely) but even my wife disliked it. Now considering she loved the Bridget Jones movies this is pretty hard condemnation.

Everything from the casting to the script, from the direction to the guest appearances; this movie is just a total mess. Let’s look at these in order, well nearly in order. The cast are woeful with their comic timing, just by shouting doesn’t make someone funny much in the same way that batting big brown eyes to the camera makes someone endearing. And why does Hollywood still feel the need that each movie they make must have a have black actor as comic relief? Here Wanda Sykes as Viola Fields’ PA is given nothing to do but sigh and make ‘hilarious’ one-liners all of the time. This surely is classed as racism which was seen in the old black and white flicks of the 1930s. This character is pure stereotype and in the end becomes almost offensive to black people. All she must have been told to do was to roll her eyes and sound sarcastic. A total waste of an actress. Lopez can’t do comedy and Fonda can’t do subtly anymore, as for Vartan, well he might as well have had a cardboard cut out on set, it would have been more animated. None of the cast posses the essential subtly needed for comedy. To them comedy is about shouting and opening their mouths as wide as possible, big mistake guys.

Monster In Law
The script is saggy, predictable and twenty minutes too long. We all know that the two females will battle over the man; we all know that it will all work out in the end as it’s so clearly signposted when guest star Elaine Stritch as Viola’s mother-in-law attends the wedding. What a wasted chance this was. Stritch could act these off the screen but is given little but to do but act miserably and snarl slightly.

Direction from Robert Luketic, who gave us the marvellous Legally Blonde, fails to capture any humorous moments and in return serves up a mess of half hearted ideas and situations.

The transfer is almost faultless for this movie. It absolutely drips in detail with fantastic natural skin tones and warm shading. It doesn’t matter where we are. Whether it be the dark bedroom or the sun drenched beach or false lighting of a doctor’s waiting room, the disc handles everything thrown at it. The dinner sequence, which holds a lot of tricky lighting looks lush and warm, shame such a cracking transfer is wasted on such rubbish.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually very impressive with plenty of different levels of bass to keep the ear entertained. Surprising as this isn't a high octane movie with copious amounts of explosions etc. It also keeps the dialogue clear and sharp without it becoming muffled out by the enthusiastic score. The Dolby Digital 2.0 version also handles the talky sequences well and has more to offer then normal stereo mixes.

Monster In Law
As with most poor movies this one comes with a huge amount of extras attached to it and reads as long as a royal wedding guest list. The feature commentary has a cast list of its own as Robert Luketic, Wanda Sykes, Producer Chris Bender, Production Designer Missy Steward and Director of Photography P. Russell Carpenter all contribute. It’s a self congratulatory piece which does give you some information but isn’t overtly technical. Seven deleted scenes follow and have a director’s introduction. These do actually add some nice dark moments to the story, shame they hadn’t been re-inserted. Next on the list is ‘Ruby’s Make-up Bag’, which is basically Wanda Syke’s hamming it up pretending to mime to a Britney Spears drone song. Not very funny, sorry. Which leads us onto the gag reel, which again isn’t very funny, unless of course you want to see a load of people laughing at farting dogs? There are six short documentaries, each one tackling a different subject. ‘Welcome Back Jane Fonda’ looks at Ms Fonda’s reaction at returning to acting after fifteen years. It’s slightly gushing but does seem to have some sincerity to it. ‘Keeping It Real with Jennifer’ is a puff piece where all the cast and some of the crew say how great J-Lo is! Next is ‘Robert Luketic – The Man Behind the Monster’ a look at this eccentric director who skips and screams in delight on set. Material form the other documentaries are repeated here. ‘Vartan, The Man’ looks at Michaels card playing prowess and is about as interesting as watching people actually playing cards!

Next is ‘Trendsetters: Lifestyles and Fashions’, two short pieces which look at the location and designs of the movie and are far more interesting than those made about the cast and crew. The ‘Soundtrack’ section allows you to hear various musical numbers from the movie, with the film footgae to go with them. A selection of trailers finishes off the extras selection.

Monster In Law
Well sorry to be so harsh but this movie stinks. In fact I would like to say that its crap. Sorry for being so blunt but unless you enjoy torturing yourself then this isn’t for you.