Frolicsome fairy tale a hit at box office |

Frolicsome fairy tale a hit at box office

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyJennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes star in a modern-day "Cinderella."

The film starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes is what it is. It’s a light, romantic comedy with beautiful people who happen to have some fine chemistry between them. Is it formulaic? You bet your boots. Is it fun? Indeed it is.

It’s more “Ever After” than “Pretty Woman.” Working as a high-end hotel maid who strives to be invisible, Marisa Ventura (Lopez) is caught between dreaming of bigger things and her mother’s legacy of knowing her place – and that’s not the top of the pile. When Lopez is coerced into shimmying from her uniform into designer clothes (they just happen to fit her perfectly), she’s transformed into a sculpted, classic beauty. By a not-so-miraculous twist of fate, she takes a walk with her son, Ty (played beautifully by Tyler Posey), and heartthrob assemblyman Christopher Marshall (Fiennes). The banter between the adults oozes sexual tension.

Her verbal antics are reminiscent of Goldie Hawn’s in “Protocol.” They’re cheesy, but many people will want to root for her. Underdogs, especially beautiful ones, are meant to be championed. There are platitudes to spare, and the charm to make them work.

The term chick flick comes to mind, one to be whole-heartedly enjoyed and then forgotten. It’s pure, escapist Hollywood candy. “Maid in Manhattan” is playing locally at Cascade Theater, and is rated PG-13 for language and sexual content. For showtimes, call 476-5661.

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