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Maid in Manhattan

This Christmas ... love checks in. 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Jennifer Lopez sets out to prove that she really is just ‘Jenny from the block’ in this cute and engaging romantic-comedy that is essentially a modern day Cinderella story. Lopez plays Marisa Ventura, a single mother from the Bronx, who works as a maid in a swanky Manhattan hotel. Through her young son’s precocious interest in American politics and a simple twist of fate, Marisa’s life becomes entangled with that of charming senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Fiennes), who just happens to be making the hotel his temporary campaign headquarters.

Prince Charming sees her trying on a guest’s designer outfit, and in true Cinderella style, falls for her, oblivious to her true identity - believing instead that she is a rich socialite. Of course one word from Marisa at any moment could resolve this case of mistaken identity - she realises that she cannot keep deceiving him - but she dreads telling him the truth, fearing that a Republican candidate would never knowingly date a Puerto-Rican chambermaid. Inevitably, the truth comes out, and it becomes clear that their lives could not be any more disparate. Will the star-crossed lovers be able to overcome their differences?

Lopez and Fiennes make a stunning, if unlikely, couple, and are assisted in their fairytale by a blend of charismatic personalities that make up a strong supporting cast. The movie attempts at times to address class and race barriers, but works best when sticking to the trusty romcom formula. This movie doesn’t stimulate intellectually or deliver any plot twists and is rather predictable; by the time it’s over, no-one in the audience would have been surprised - fairytales inevitably end ‘happily ever after’ - but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.  This is a sweet movie that’ll have you hooked from the opening credits.

Julie Ngo

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Autumn Term (35mm)
2003/2004 Autumn Term (35mm)