Review / ‘Second Act’ (M) ***

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Jennifer Lopez in “Second Act”.

“SECOND Act” looks through fantasy-coloured glasses at a Hollywood view of fraud’s rewards.

Writers Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas have given director Peter Segal a plot that exemplifies wishful thinking mixed with predictability, paints a choice collection of improbabilities with blue-skies optimism and appeals to our better judgement by presenting fake realities in a package that, I have to admit, is entertaining and charming despite those defects.

Maya (Jennifer Lopez) is assistant manager in a department store. After 15 years, she’s good at management without any academic qualification. When she gets passed over for promotion, she leaves in high dudgeon. She applies for an executive job at a big family-owned conglomerate.

Without her knowledge, the son of a friend in the store has confected a fake CV for her on Facebook. It’s an absolute cracker, waiting to be tested in the recruitment market-place. The CEO’s daughter dislikes the possibility that Maya may get the job. Nobody asks the right questions about her qualifications until after she gets the job anyway.

From that point, its heigh ho and away we go through the ups and downs that precede career glory for Maya (using the ginkgo tree’s leaves as the basis for a single cosmetic that does everything a woman needs to protect and improve her complexion) before resolution of all the niggly little issues that have confronted her since the film began. It’s a good, if mindless, escape from summer’s heat in an air-conditioned cinema, demonstrating once again that happy endings are de rigueur in Hollywood and that crime can pay if it’s not life-threatening and you ‘fess up to it in time.

At all cinemas

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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