You might remember how surprised I was when I watched Instant Family. After watching the, frankly, dreadful trailers, I was surprised to find that the comedy was actually a heartfelt drama with funny moments that really worked. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Second Act, which totally lives up to its trailer of consumerist trash with little merit.
Jennifer Lopez plays Maya Vargas, a supermarket assistant who decides to pursue her dream job at a high stakes pharmaceutical company after her friend fakes her resume and CV credentials. She is by far the most believable part of this film, and it’s only her charm that makes the film remotely watchable. Granted, I’m clearly not the audience for this chick flick, but I found it contrived, dull and laughably bad.
The characters are horrifically annoying. Each one, as with most American comedies, are made up on a single annoying trait. There’s a geek who is afraid of heights, a scientist who loves cats and also the geek, a mum who is stopping her kid from swearing by self-censoring herself, the list goes on. None of these ‘hilarious’ traits provide any laughs, and instead become immediately irritating. For creative self-censoring, stick to The Good Place “you mother forking shirt heads”.
The plot is horribly predictable, apart from when it’s trying to deliver shocking plot twists. I whispered to the person I was seeing the film with how hilarious it would be if a ridiculous plot point was true. Twenty minutes later, I was proven correct. The entire narrative of the films hinges on this big twist, which is so unbelievably convenient it’s ridiculous and completely ruins the film by desperately trying to add an extra emotional drama.
The film counts itself as a comedy, but this should almost be investigated as a legal issue. There was only one point when I actually laughed with the film. Granted, I laughed a lot at the film, but that was mainly due to the stupidity of the plot. Even as a drama, it’s not something one can become invested in. When the protagonist’s whole narrative is based on lying to her colleagues and relations, you can’t help but not like her. If I don’t remotely care about the characters, I can’t be expected to enjoy the film.
After seeing an artistic piece like ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, I found Second Act to be a terribly mainstream waste of time. Jennifer Lopez does the best with what is given to her, but after she narrates all five of the films attempted endings, even she begins to grate. It’s terrible hogwash and isn’t worth your time.