Second Act movie cast: Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, Treat Williams
Second Act movie director: Peter Segal
Second Act movie rating: 1.5 stars
Street smart vs book smart is the premise. In the movies, you can be sure which side will always win. Always. Even so, Jennifer Lopez can be a pleasure to watch, despite having herself done such roles before. But, not in Second Act.
Lopez is Maya, a driven assistant manager at a supermarket, who is denied a promotion despite the surge in sales under her as she doesn’t have the right education. The man who replaces her has a Duke MBA and, unsurprisingly, over-the-top ideas about running the place.
So the son of Maya’s friend (played by the ingratiating Remini) cooks up a fake resume for her, with all the right colleges (Wharton, Harvard) and all the right hobbies (Peace Corps, mountain climbing), and shoots it off to a cosmetics company looking for a production development consultant.
In Maya walks, despite the initial protests over all the lies, on her high heels — and out the film goes, as the incredulous just piles up.
While those stilettos are mind-boggling too, they don’t come close to what is happening with Maya, the firm’s owner and the owner’s ambitious daughter Zoe (a very haggard Hudgens).
There is a surprising, if improbable, twist here that could have added a zing to this predictable tale. Instead, in the equanimous world of Second Act, this is spectacularly wasted.