Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Maid in Manhattan Reviews

If this deeply lame Cinderella story, apparently the result of an unholy tryst between PRETTY WOMAN (1990) and WORKING GIRL (1988), had an original idea in its head, that idea would swiftly die of loneliness. Early on, harried single mom Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez), a struggling housekeeper at Manhattan's posh Beresford Hotel, has one of the oddest "meet cutes" in film history: Good-looking Senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) begins relieving himself in the bathroom of his lavish suite, not noticing that Marisa's still cleaning. After a romantic setup like that, only a churl would doubt that that the duo, despite the differences in their social status, are destined to fall in love. And so, a short time later, wearing a $5,000 Dolce & Gabbana outfit belonging to well-heeled guest Caroline Lane (Natasha Richardson), who has her own aspirations regarding the charismatic pol, Marisa and the Kennedy-esque Marshall are enjoying a romantic walk in Central Park with paparazzi nipping at their heels. Marshall still has no idea who Marisa is, of course, and the rest of the film is a series of increasingly implausible complications, including Marisa's attempt to make it up the corporate ladder and the obligatory ball scene (actually an expensive political dinner). Eventually the truth comes out. Marshall decides that love conquers all, the couple becomes the toast of the media, and all loose ends are tidied up with the depressing inevitability of bad art. To say that the film is unenjoyable would be an overstatement; a good time can be had counting the number of reassuringly stock characters it offers up. They include the wise-beyond-his-years 10-year-old (Tyler Garcia Posey) who conspires to bring the couple together; Marisa's salty-tongued, heart-of-gold best friend (Marissa Matrone); the head butler (Bob Hoskins) who never loses his dignity or forgets his class; and, of course, treacherous rich bitch Caroline. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: Among the many other equally familiar archetypes, most audience members should be able to find a personal favorite.