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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 6, 2019

Jennifer Lopez Charms Her Way Into The Familiar Impostor Story Of 'Second Act', A Feel Good Chick Flick

TOO BAD we saw “Second Act” only on its last day or we could have recommended it earlier. It’s a guilty pleasure starring Jennifer Lopez, the kind of cheesy chick flick that critics would love to tear into bits, but we honestly enjoyed it. Well, to begin with, we like J Lo, and here, she’s playing her age as Maya Vargas, a 40 something who has spent 15 years of her life working in a discount superstore where she hopes to get a promotion, but she is bypassed in favor of an outsider simply because she’s not a high school or college graduate.

Without her knowing it, the nerdy son of her best friend creates a new identity for her, faking her educational background, then applies for her to a big skin care company. She gets the surprise of her life when she is called for an interview and is later hired for the job. She must now pretend to be someone she is not.

This impostor plot thread has been used before but what carries it through is the undeniable charms of J Lo. Added to this basic plot is a dramatic subplot concerning J Lo’s missing child who she had to give up for adoption when she got pregnant at 16 and became a mom at 17. How this plot twist is cleverly incorporated into the movie without making it cloying or mawkish is nicely executed.

J Lo is well supported by a likeable cast, led by Milo Ventimiglia as her boyfriend who keeps on proposing to her but who she rejects as she’s afraid to have a family, Treat Williams as her friendly new boss in the big company that hires her, Vanessa Hudgens as the daughter of the boss who is quite hostile to her, Leah Remini as her wisecracking best friend, and Asian actress Charlyne Yi as her assistant who looks like a young Eugene Domingo.

The movie is a feel good one and has many hilarious scenes that really work. There are also two dance sequences, one is in a kitchen where J Lo dances with her zany girl friends set to the tune of Salt N Pepa’s Push It and it’s quite delightful. The other dance scene is with a villainous guy who she humiliates by throwing him into the office Christmas tree that crashes on him.

You’ll also see J Lo (who’s turning 50 this July) in her usually body hugging outfits showing off her cleavage to display how wonderfully well preserved she is for a soon to be golden girl.