Maid in Manhattan is a 2002 romantic comedy film directed by Wayne Wang about a hotel maid and a high profile politician who fall in love starring Jennifer LopezRalph Fiennes, and Natasha Richardson. It is based on a story by John Hughes who is credited using a pseudonym. The original music score is composed by Alan Silvestri. The film was released on December 13, 2002.

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Plot

Plot[edit][edit | edit source]

Marisa Ventura is a single mother trying to get by with her young son Ty by working as a maid for a classy hotel set in the heart of Manhattan. When not in school, Ty spends time among Marisa’s fellow hotel workers who think she is capable of being promoted to management.

While Marisa and fellow maid Stephanie (Marissa Matrone) are cleaning the room of a socialite, Stephanie convinces Marisa to try on a coat. The guest, Caroline Lane , had previously asked for it to be returned to the store and Stephanie argues that it “technically” doesn’t belong to anyone at the moment. Elsewhere in the hotel, Ty befriends hotel guest and senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall , whom Ty learns has an interest in Richard Nixon, the subject of his school presentation. Ty wants to go with Chris to walk his dog and the pair go to Caroline Lane’s room to ask Marisa for permission. Chris meets Marisa who is wearing the designer coat, and is instantly smitten with her. Of course, he assumes that she is Caroline Lane. The trio spend some time together in the park. Though Marisa and Chris are attracted to each other, Marisa is terrified that management will find out about the ruse and makes it a point to avoid Chris afterwards.

Chris asks the hotel’s head butler Lionel Bloch to invite “Caroline Lane” to lunch but he is confused when the real Caroline shows up instead of Marisa. Ironically, Marisa was present when she received the invitation and even offered Caroline some advice on what to wear for their “Lunch à deux”. When the real Caroline shows up, Chris asks his assistant Jerry Siegal to find “the other Caroline Lane” promising that he will attend an important dinner and wishes her go with him. Jerry asks Lionel to find her. Lionel, who has figured out that Marisa is the woman Chris has been looking for, tells her to go to the dinner and end the affair swiftly if she wants to keep her possible future in hotel management. He and the hotel staff assist her in preparing for the evening by styling her hair, loaning her an expensive dress, and a spectacular necklace.

Marisa is unable to end the affair, and she spends the night in Chris's hotel room. The next morning, Marisa is spotted by the real Caroline Lane and her friend leaving Chris' room. Caroline blurts out the truth to the hotel management and Marisa is fired in front of Chris in Lane’s hotel suite. Both Marisa and Chris spend some time apart with him still thinking about her and Marisa hounded by the press and her disapproving classist mother Veronica.

Some time later, Marisa has obtained another job as a maid at another hotel. Chris is giving a press conference in the same hotel and Ty attends it and asks Chris whether people should be forgiven if they make mistakes referencing former President of the United States. Ty leads him to the staff–room where Marisa is having her break. Chris and Marisa are reunited and the film ends with images of publications showing that Chris has been elected, he and Marisa are still together after one year, Marisa has started her own hospitality business, and Marisa’s maid friends have been promoted to management.

Production notes[edit][edit | edit source]

Filming was carried out at both New York's Roosevelt Hotel and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Filming also took place in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx on E 175 Street between theGrand Concourse and on Jerome Avenue. John Hughes wrote the story, but was credited as Edmund Dantes.

Similarity to 1935 film[edit][edit | edit source]

Although never cited in the onscreen credits or in any supplemental material by the producers or writers, the basic premise of a luxury hotel maid being mistaken for a famous hotel guest after being seen wearing clothes that were meant for someone else was explored earlier in the 1935 Warner Bros. comedy, Page Miss Glory. Maid in Manhattan's writer John Hughes' original title for the story was The Chambermaid, [2] [3] which is what Marion Davies's character is called in Page Miss Glory.

Cast[edit][edit | edit source]

Reception[edit][edit | edit source]

Maid in Manhattan generated mostly negative reviews from film critics.[4] In its opening week, Maid in Manhattan opened atop the Box office in the United States, having played at 2,838 theaters.[5] According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed a total of $94,011,225 domestically, and $60,895,468 in other countries.[5] It has grossed $155 million worldwide.[5]

Time magazine named it one of the top 10 worst chick flicks.[6] According Anna Smith of the magazine Empire: "the film constantly falls back on its staple fairy-tale plotline, which is so resolutely traditional it should succeed in charming its target audience".[7] Nell Minow of Common Sense Media wrote positively, stating: "is as careful a combination of ingredients as it is possible to package [sic] Everything is at the fairy tale level, which means we never dwell on troubling realities".[8] Paul Byrnes of the Sydney Morning Herald said: "The script is so lazy it snores, and Wayne Wang directs like he walked onto the wrong set - true enough, in its way."[9] Rich Cline of the webzine Film Threatreviewed Maid In Manhattan positively. Cline wrote: "When we catch ourselves sighing at the end, we get mad that we've fallen for this same old formula all over again. But mad in a nice way."[10]

Charles Passy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave it a negative review, writing: "Instead of a fairy tale, we have a tale told without imagination. It's Cinderella gone stale."[4] Andrew Chase of Killer Movie Reviews, however, was more positive. Chase wrote: "Leave reality at the concession stand along with your $20 for popcorn, candy and a large drink".[4] Derek Adams of Time Out was also positive: "Talented individuals labour over the contrivances in this lightweight romance, and if the result's fluff, at least it's painless".[11] Adams also praised the characters of Marisa and Chris, writing: "Marisa is an appealing heroine, beloved by her son and her co-workers, loyal, practical but optimistic. She dreams of being more but isn't anything as icky as ambitious or confident or focused. Chris, too, dreams of more but isn't craven, like his political advisor. Like what, exactly, Chris hopes to achieve as a senator or how, exactly, Marisa gets a job after being fired for stealing".[11] At the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 39% based on 145 reviews and the site's consensus stating: "Too blandly generic, Maid in Manhattan also suffers from a lack of chemistry between Lopez and Fiennes."[4] The film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for Lopez.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit][edit | edit source]

The film features Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" in the opening credits, "Train On A Track" sung by Kelly Rowland, "Come Away With Me" and "Don't Know Why" sung by Norah Jones,"Fall Again" sung by Glenn Lewis, and "I'm Coming Out" sung by Amerie .

Spin-off[edit][edit | edit source]

ABC announced in August 2008 that it would be adapting the film to a television series, with Jennifer Lopez producing.[12][13] As of March 2010, the IMDb still listed "Maid in Manhattan (2009)" as in production[14] with Chad Hodge as script writer,[15] but a 2009 Sony Pictures Television press release only shows it as a put pilot.[16] ABC Television has yet to release or air any version of the pilot project. As of 11/25/2011, IMDB has removed the page and the pilot was rejected.[17]

Telenovela version[edit][edit | edit source]

Telemundo and Sony Pictures Television are co-producing a telenovela based on the movie called Una Maid en Manhattan, starring Litzy and Eugenio Siller.[18] As of November 29, 2011, the telenovela is airing in Telemundo weeknights at 8pm/7pm central.

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