In MANHATTAN QUEEN Jennifer Lopez has to invent a miracle cream as an unexpected new employee of a cosmetics company. The result is a kind of fictional infomercial with a half-baked subplot and a negative aftertaste. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
Maya (Jennifer Lopez) is in her early 40s and quite frustrated. She has worked her way up to assistant store manager in the largest supermarket in Queens, but she can get away with the boss position without having a proper school diploma. Then she gets a second chance: Without her knowledge, her best friend Joan’s son (Leah Remini) polishes up Maya’s resume and gives her the right social media presence. She promptly receives an invitation to an interview in Manhattan, and before she knows it, she finds herself working as a marketing consultant with her own office at a cosmetics company. Maya reinvents herself from the ground up to show the world that smarts are at least as valuable as a college diploma. But how long can she maintain her false identity?
Movie explanation of the ending
What exactly can you reveal in a synopsis and what should you keep quiet about so as not to scare away interested moviegoers with unwanted spoilers? Ever since the hype surrounding complexly written television series has reached dizzying heights, this question has repeatedly been discussed. Some are of the opinion that revealing important details and developments in advance cannot harm a really well-written story. The others take the side that anything that could generate even a hint of surprise in the film or series should please remain secret in advance. Now, of all things, the comedy “Manhattan Queen,” which seems very predictable on paper and in the trailer, presents us with the dilemma of “Speak or be silent?” – even though many colleagues in the USA have already agreed that a crucial subplot of the film can very well be revealed in advance. So if you want to know what we are maneuvering around in the following argument, please take a look at one of the numerous reviews by colleagues from overseas, because they deal with the biggest weak point of “Manhattan Queen” far more openly than we do USA distributor Tobis Film has recommended.
Maya (Jennifer Lopez) and Trey (Milo Ventimiglia) have a happy relationship until things start to go wrong…
It’s not the first time that acting and R’n’B icon Jennifer Lopez (“The Boy Next Door”) takes on the lead role in a film that has the term “Manhattan” in the title. At the beginning of the 2000s, she was the protagonist in Wayne Wang’s RomCom “Manhattan Love Story”, in which a chambermaid’s lifelong dream of true love comes true just because she is suddenly mistaken for a wealthy socialite in the clothes of a rich hotel guest. “Manhattan Queen” is also about a wish coming true overnight. But the fairy-tale assumption of a woman freed from her predicament by a man would hardly be relevant today, which is why “Manhattan Queen” does not focus on amorous entanglements, but rather on the career of Maya, embodied by J.Lo. This fact doesn’t change the fact that her character’s path is mapped out from the start. The moment she gets hired by a large cosmetics company with the help of a falsified CV and is allowed to manage a prestigious project there, we know about the catharsis that will probably follow and everything else that follows. The David versus Goliath premise doesn’t result in any tension either, because in the end it’s unlikely that the unsympathetic opponent will become the favorite, but that these events, which are comparable to “Prakti.com”, will develop more and more in favor of Maya’s outsiders , is now genre standard. And the writers are moving on from Justin Zackham (“The best comes last”) and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas (produced, among other things, “Mona Lisa’s Smile”) are not at all off.
But no matter how tense this plot is, it is still entertaining most of the time. The chemistry within the ensemble is excellent, even though the supporting characters can only be defined by individual quirks: Maya’s assistant Ariana (Charlyne Yi, “The Disaster Artist”) suffers from severe fear of heights, Leah Rimini (“The Clapper”) mimes the cliché of the loud-mouthed but lovable best friend with her best friend Joan. Also about Maya’s friend Trey (Milo Ventimiglia, “Wild Card”) all we learn is that there are constant discussions between him and his girlfriend about the question of whether they should start a family or not (that he leaves her after she says no and only takes her back at the end of the film , when she changed her mind, is the aspect that we were referring to at the beginning when we talked about a “bland aftertaste”). Of course, deep character drawing looks different. But the entire cast, which also includes “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens, whose role we can’t say anything about without revealing too much in advance, visibly enjoys the shallow fun. And although the constructed events move into increasingly outrageous spheres as they progress, in which a happy coincidence always follows when the authors have just written themselves into a narrative dead end, all of this would only be half as bad if the writers of “Manhattan “Queen” don’t think much more ambitiously. And this is where the film finally falls into two parts.
“High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens plays a crucial role in “Manhattan Queen.”
After what may be a surprising development for some, but which others see as miles of wind, unravels unspectacularly in the middle of the film (and it is therefore doubtful that the makers even had anything like a surprising twist in mind here), things turn around “Manhattan Queen” moves into more dramatic territory in the second half. At least that seems to have been the plan of the makers, because just because the focus here is no longer on the individual components and benefits of cosmetic products, that of course doesn’t mean that the intended second part of the narrative will work, in which it is roughly is about family togetherness. On the contrary: everything that happens up to that point is painted with such a rough brush that the intended emotions cannot develop at any point. And without any plausibility and with the help of as many coincidences as possible, the event cannot be taken seriously. In the end, “Manhattan Queen” remains a mostly shallow pleasure that you should have fun with, especially if you don’t value narrative coherence at all and it’s enough for you to see beautiful people indulging in problems in front of a beautiful backdrop for two hours. which we would be happy if he had.
Conclusion: Peter Segal’s comedy “Manhattan Queen” falls into two parts. The first is shallow and likeable, the second is constructed, unbelievable and outrageous. Looking at the overall result, this unfortunately means that the film, which is peppered with some questionable morals, can only be enjoyed with very low standards. At least Jennifer Lopez likes her role as the charismatic con artist.
“Manhattan Queen” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 17th.