Unlucky in love, beautiful Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Cantilini (Jennifer Lopez) has finally met the man of her dreams, Dr. Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan). There’s just one problem – his mother. Overbearing and controlling, not to mention volatile, Viola Fields (Jane Fonda) has recently been canned from her job as a star news anchor. Fearing she will lose her son’s affections as she has her career, Viola decides to break up the happy couple by becoming the world’s worst mother-in-law. Helping her with her crazy schemes is Viola’s long-time assistant, Ruby (Wanda Sykes). The gloves come off when Charlie finally decides to fight back and it looks like Viola has finally met her match.
I know there are people out there that won’t like this film because Jane Fonda is in it. Her past politics irritate many, and I’m sure this performance will agitate many too. But I found her to be very entertaining as the wacko mother-in-law intent on keeping her son’s love all to herself. The chemistry between her and Wanda Sykes is hilarious. I have always enjoyed Sykes’ comedy, and she continues to demonstrate her comic timing in her role as Ruby, Viola’s long time assistant. Jennifer Lopez is wonderful as the bride-to-be and shows her ability to retaliate against Viola’s evil plot to drive her nuts. There is one site gag in the film that is really funny dealing with the consumption of nuts, although I’m sure there will be people with whom this site gag hits too close to home. This film could have been much better without the implied pre-marital sexual relationship and the constant obscene language.
Fonda looks marvelous and is in tremendous shape for her age. Sykes steals every scene she is in with her comic abilities. However, the monstrous volume of foul language ruins Monster-in-Law and what was otherwise a funny film even though it includes a mean-spirited cat fight.