Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott
Directed by Robert Luketic
Barbarella is back. that's right, Jane Fonda, whose nudie romp in that 1968 sci-fi sex saga is still a rouser on DVD, has returned to movies for the first time in fifteen years. She doesn't hide the lines on her strong, patrician face. She doesn't need to — class and beauty will always win out. Fonda, 67, plays a mother. And what a mother. Viola Fields is a talk-show of Barbara Walters wattage. She is about to be replaced by a bimbo. Her sassy assistant (Wanda Sykes) remembers Viola passing out when The View won an Emmy. On her last TV stint, Viola strangles a Britney Spears clone who proudly says she's never read a newspaper.
Viola is having a meltdown. And this is when her only son, Kevin (Michael Vartan), announces that he — a doctor — is about to marry Charlotte (Jennifer Lopez), a Latina temp. The film, directed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde), from a script by Anya Kochoff, is hardly classic farce. Fonda, like Robert De Niro — her co-star in her previous film, 1990's Stanley and Iris — is on the low-comic road to a Meet the Fockers pot of gold. Snobs be damned. It's a hoot to watch Fonda cut loose and mix it up with J. Lo, even when the laughs turn mean-spirited. Broadway legend Elaine Stritch is killer funny as Viola's own monster-in-law. Fonda, be it as Hanoi Jane or workout queen, keeps springing surprises. Knockabout comic is just the latest incarnation in Fonda's life so far. Let her rip.
star ratingCBS Films
star ratingRelativity Media
star ratingOpen Road Films
star ratingWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
star ratingThe Weinstein Company