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second act

DIRECTOR: peter segal (get smart, 50 first dates)
STARRING: jennifer lopez, vanessa hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia, and Leah Remini

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

★★★

Struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams, 40-year-old Maya gets a chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts and that it's never too late for a second act.

Without that double degree, Maya finds her prospects hit a peak well below her ambitions. At 40 years old, with work and family life hemmed in by a past she stays tight-lipped about, something has to change - but how?

 

With a little truth-bending, Maya is out to prove that street-smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and all she needs is a fancy CV to get her foot in the door.

 

Second Act is that early-2000s-esque rom-com we all know and loved that inexplicably left the scene 15 years ago. Layers of cheese, some questionable plot points and too-good-to-be-true bits and you've been transported back to 2002 - but with all that heart-warming fun and warm-fuzzies I've so missed in this genre.

 

Go in as a rom-com critic and those head-scratching bits will be glaringly obvious, but to me, this film felt nostalgic. Jennifer Lopez is back in all her rom-com glory. A smart business woman ready to see her story change. And we can't forget the best friend, Joan (played by Leah Remini) who adds some great comic relief. A few jokes miss the mark, but some scored laughs throughout the cinema.

 

Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia and Treat Williams round out a recognisable cast for an overall endearing film that was an easy watch (unless you cringe easily).

 

Second Act fills that cute-and-corny rom-com hole that's been left empty for a decade too long. While a little loose in parts, it has a lot of heart.

★★★