Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a struggling single mom who works at a posh Manhattan hotel and dreams of a better life for her and her young son (Tyler Posey). One fateful day, hotel guest and senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) meets Marisa and mistakes her for a wealthy socialite. After an enchanting evening together, the two fall madly in love. But when Marisa’s true identity is revealed, issues of class and social status threaten to separate them.

Can two people from very different worlds overcome their differences and live happily ever after?


If you were going to make a romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez in the lead – who would you cast as the hero? Would you really cast Ralph Fiennes? Well somebody did for Maid in Manhattan, a story about Marisa – played by Lopez – a single mother of a precociously intelligent ten-year-old son Ty, Tyler Garcia Posey, not all American children make great performers.

Marisa works as a maid in a top New York hotel but she has aspirations to management status, and they're well-founded. And then in a moment of girlie irresponsibility, urged on by her workmate Steph, Marissa Matrone, she tries on some ill-fitting Dolce & Gabbana in the room of a Sotheby's executive played by Natasha Richardson. In walks aspiring senator Chris Marshall, Ralph Fiennes, with Ty and assuming she's well-heeled, he's soon taking them both for a walk in the park.

Apart from the obvious miscasting of really decent British actors like Fiennes, Richardson and Bob Hoskins, this film is misconceived, it's not nearly witty or funny enough. Instead of heading straight for screwball comedy territory it gets bogged down in wanting to make a social statement about the upward mobility of maids.

Director Wayne Wang who made the delicious Smoke and more famously The Joy Luck Club is experiencing a career crisis with this film. The pacing is less than zippy and even though the film only runs a little over 90 minutes it seems much longer. Just about all the people in this film were making interesting films some time ago, this is not going to be regarded as a finest moment in cinema by many of them.