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What’s fun is just watching Lopez and her supporting cast — including her real-life best friend Remini, Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford as her tightly wound coworker, and a loopy Charlyne Yi as her phobic new assistant — move through the scenes so easily.
If you are someone inclined to head to the theatre specifically to see the new Jennifer Lopez rom-com, you will get exactly the movie you hope for. And you will be happy.
Even though Second Act shouldn’t work, it does (sort of). It’s got flow, a certain knowing ticky-tackiness about its own contrivances. You know you’re watching a connect-the-dots comedy, but the dots sparkle. And Lopez gives her first star performance in a while. Age has enriched her talent; she brings curlicues of experience to every scene.
It's clear this movie is for a certain audience, but at least the film embraces its genre and the jokes stick the landing. It's definitely worth a watch for fans of movies with an early 2000s rom-com aesthetic.
Second Act never recovers from its big reveal, a cataclysmic (and nearly catastrophic) piece of narrative nuttiness that derails every scene, every performance, every subsequent revelation.
It feels like a confused puppy, caught between a stale script and a very confused storyline that frequently loses focus.
San Francisco Chronicle
So, there you have it, a bad good movie, or a good bad movie, but a very decent Jennifer Lopez movie.
The New York Times
This is Jenny from the blah.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The contemporary nostalgia for romantic comedies is understandable (even if I do not personally share it), as is the nostalgia for Jennifer Lopez, movie star. Unfortunately, Second Act is a strange, scattered attempt to cash in on that longing, and it doesn’t seem to know what its own deal is aside from a rushed vision board collage of Things Women Are Probably Worried About.
The Hollywood Reporter
If there are any dadaist cinephiles out there, perhaps they can reclaim Second Act as a multilayered masterpiece of illogic. Certainly the film seems destined to survive all future nuclear winters, enduring as a time capsule of humanity at its most pitiably pedestrian.
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