Not since Walter Matthau shacked up with Jack Lemmon has there been such a cinematic odd couple as Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes. Unfortunately the latter combo has all the snap, crackle and pop of soggy cereal. The bizarre casting sets the tone for a romantic comedy which mistakes asinine for amusing.
Did someone say ass? Jenny from the block gets back to her Bronx roots as Marisa Ventura, a hotel maid changing the dirty linen at a plush Manhattan hotel. Fiennes is Christopher Marshall, a VIP guest who covers up the dirty linen as a Republican candidate for the US senate.
"CUTESY CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME"
The campaign trail leads Marshall straight to Marisa's heart when he catches her trying on a designer suit belonging to one of the hotel's elite guests. He mistakes her for a blue blood and from there, they play a cutesy cat-and-mouse game: Marshall in pursuit and Marisa trying to cover her tracks for fear of losing her job.
There are two things you should know. One: Jennifer Lopez is not funny. Two: Ralph Fiennes is less funny than Jennifer Lopez. Together they're about as humorous as a root canal. But then, Kevin Wade must've pulled a few teeth writing this script, which becomes more laboured at every turn.
The one saving grace is Natasha Richardson as bratty socialite Caroline (owner of said designer suit). Her misguided attempts to woo Christopher offer the biggest laughs and even inspire sympathy - impressive since her character is the villain of the piece.
While Maid In Manhattan offers service with a smile, it's the kind of forced enthusiasm you'd get from a waitress who only cares about the tip.