Maid in Manhattan

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Romance
Year 2002
Duration 105 min
Rating 4.6 out of 10
Description: Marisa Ventura (Lopez) is a single mother born and bred in the boroughs of New York City, who works as a maid in a first-class Manhattan hotel. By a twist of fate and mistaken identity, Marisa meets Christopher Marshall (Fiennes), a handsome heir to a political dynasty, who believes that she is a guest at the hotel. Fate steps in and throws the unlikely pair together for one night. When Marisa's true identity is revealed, the two find that they are worlds apart, even though the distance separating them is just a subway ride between Manhattan and the Bronx.
Comments: Seeing the commercials when it came out, I remember thinking it looked pretty racist. The scenes of dancing black maids and the fairy tale of a pretty Latina rising from the (literally) depths to the upper floors of the accepted world looked disturbing. Recently, I had the chance to watch it for free, and I decided to see just how bad it could be, so that next time I critiqued it, I could do so from a firm foundation of actually having seen it....

It was as problematic as I thought. Firstly, it was as bad as any other formulaic standard romantic comedy. It was predictable, mediocre writing, mediocre casting (though the boy was cute). Secondly, while I realize it's a fluff film, I would've appreciated more than just a token nod at the fact that most of the "servants" are minorities and the people being served (the ones with all the power & money) are Caucasian. Aside from all it's other problems - the thing I most had trouble with was why on earth did they make his character a Republican? Are we really supposed to believe a Latina working class single mom is really going to find happiness with a rich Caucasian REPUBLICAN? Give me a break. Their party line is pretty much hating everything she stood for and making sure she stays down (with only this token exception for a "hottie"). They tried to imply that she might stand up to her views, by a single comment she makes about the projects to him, but to me that only reinforced the problem.

I also had a problem with the ending it seemed to happen only because of chance which doesn't argue for strong feelings on his part. The butler's actions at the end also didn't seem realistic. Without spoiling it, let me just say I doubt anyone in that job can afford to just act the way he did. Nice gesture, but totally unrealistic!