December 2002
Maid in Manhattan

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

Maid in Manhattan

Distributor: Sony Pictures
Director: Wayne Wang
Producers: Elaine Goldsmith Thomas, Paul Schiff, & Deborah Schindler
Screenplay: Kevin Wade from a story by John Hughes
Music: Alan Silvestry
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Bob Hoskins, and Tyler Poser
Official Site:

Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in Columbia's Maid In Manhattan - 2002

Jennifer Lopez and Tyler Posey in Columbia's Maid In Manhattan - 2002

Jennifer Lopez in Columbia's Maid In Manhattan - 2002

Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in Columbia's Maid In Manhattan - 2002

Tyler Posey and Jennifer Lopez in Columbia's Maid In Manhattan - 2002




Cinderella stories come in many forms but the most part people come to see it as the poor getting together with the rich. Just like Cinderella, there comes some form of deception. In “Maid in Manhattan”, Director Wayne Wang has cast one of today’s beautiful actresses, Jennifer Lopez. A maid’s uniform can’t even unglamourize the beauty that’s within Lopez. As the focal point of the film, Lopez shines with all involved in her scenes including her son Ty, her co-workers, and even with Fiennes, who’s an adequate “Prince Charming”. Maid in Manhattan is a delightful film that will remind all that dreams can be played out, onscreen of course.

Marissa Ventura (Lopez) is a maid at a major hotel in New York City. Her daily responsibilities include her job and her young son Ty. She has a very good relationship with most of the employees at the hotel. When there’s a position in the management department available, she’s pressured by her co-workers to apply since they feel she’s best one for the job. While cleaning the room of Caroline Sinclaire (Richardson), a sophisticated guest, she reluctantly tries on her Dolce & Gabanna outfit. Timing couldn’t be worse as the Christopher Marshall (Fiennes), currently running for State Senator, walks in the room with Ty and spots an embarrassed Marissa. Enchanted by what he sees and assuming Marissa is Caroline, the politician asks her out for a date. In order to avoid getting caught at her deception, Marissa agrees to go out but on her terms, much to chagrin of Marshall’s political manager Jerry Siegel (Tucci). It’s a race against time as Marissa’s fairy tale of romance comes crashing down as her charade starts to unravel.

What’s appealing about this film is Jennifer Lopez. This is the millennium’s version of “Pretty Woman” meets “Working Girl.” Lopez’s acting is par with the script. Much of personal background has been talked about to death, but in this film, some of it turns out to be comic relief, although it wasn’t the intentions of the producers. The story is simple as the boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy gets girl again genre never fails. Fiennes is okay as the suitor although he’s bland in certain scenes. What’s interesting about the script is that it gives such ample details about a hotel and the employees in it, that it becomes somewhat educational. Not known for her comedy skills, Richardson is charming as the Caroline the guest. Shot around New York City and the Bronx, the films brings in authenticity to Lopez’s background. Date films are looked upon at times to be silly because we know what the outcome will be from get-go, but when you have a beautiful actress and the scenario that people crave for, it works. MAID IN MANHATTAN works because it’s charming, and enjoyable.



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