Freeview film of the day: Monster-in-Law

In her first movie for 15 years, Jane Fonda shows the youngsters a thing or two about comedy

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Monster-in-Law ★★★ 
9.00-11.05pm 5STAR

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It’s Gucci handbags at dawn for Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in this romantic comedy with bite from Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic. While it stumbles a little during the corny courtship between J-Lo’s bohemian babe Charlie and well-heeled doctor Kevin Fields (played by Alias’s Michael Vartan), once Fonda turns up, the battle – and laughter – lines are very quickly drawn. After a 15-year sabbatical from movies, Fonda evidently relishes the role of Kevin’s manic mommy, Viola, who’s in the middle of a midlife meltdown after being axed from her job as a TV journalist. Indeed, the actress displays a surprising gift for physical humour, so while the bitchy banter is funny, the heartiest laughs actually come from slapstick moments, such as when Viola imagines pushing Charlie’s face into a plate of cake. The ending might be sappy, but at least Lopez manages to hold her own and Wanda Sykes is enjoyably droll as Viola’s wisecracking confidante.


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