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Review (5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In Monster-In-Law, Jennifer Lopez stars as Charlie, a lonely dog-walker/receptionist/caterer/fashion designer who meets Kevin (Michael Vartan), a young, single, good-looking doctor. The two fall in love and it seems like 24 hours later they are one their way to a life of happiness. But, Charlie must first pass one final test - the approval of Dr. Kevin's monster, I mean mother Viola (Jane Fonda). Unfortunately, Viola is one of the biggest bitches on the planet and she decides to move in with Charlie and Kevin and tries to ruin any marriage plans the two may have. Kevin goes out of town for a medical convention and the two women are left alone in a big house that isn't big enough for Violet's ego or Charlie's booty and they are forced into a showdown where only the biggest bitch will be left standing.

Monster-In-Law is the return of Jane Fonda to the big-screen after a 15 year absence. I have heard people singing her praises for starring in this movie but I really wonder why she chose this role. Perhaps it tied into promoting her book that I have seen her pawning on almost every TV show available over the last few weeks? I'm not too sure but she really did nothing for me in this movie except do a really good job of playing a giant biotch. I've also heard a lot of rumblings that J-Lo shouldn't have even been on the same screen as Fonda but really, they were both equally good and equally bad in this movie. Neither star outshone the other. And Michael Vartan (Vaughn from Alias fame) was barely in the movie, for the record.

Anyways, about the movie, I wasn't too crazy about it. Yeah, it had a few good laughs but I just didn't get any thrills watching these two women sadistically attacking each other and almost killing each other all because one is a greedy bitch and the other loved the greedy bitch's son. I'm sure if that's your thing, well, you might find this movie entertaining because people actually clapped in the theatre when the movie was done. Or perhaps if you have a "monster-in-law" and you need some ideas on how to knock her off, well, Monster-In-Law might be your movie. But for me, it was worth a few cheap laughs and that's about it. Oh, and maybe seeing Jane Fonda's sweaty armpits on the screen was sort of funny. (Look out for it in the scene where Charlie asks her to be her maid of honor.) But other than seeing a wrinkled old hag and a big-assed bride running around the screen trying to get at each other, Monster-In-Law really has nothing to it. I don't even think it is ever clearly explained why Violet doesn't want Kevin to marry Charlie except for the fact that she sees her as a middle-class minority with a questionable sexual history. She comes to this conclusion after meeting Charlie only once. But that's Monster-In-Law for you - just a bunch of muddled situations, some of which are funny but most of which are not.

This is a mediocre movie at best with a typical and predictable sappy ending. The only thing it might do for your average movie fan is make him or her realize that your own mother-in-law is not nearly as bad as you imagined. Or perhaps worse!

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