Second Act (2018)

Second Act (2018) Cover

Can we all agree that it’s weird when Lifetime movie material makes it to the big screen because it has one really major performer in it? Second Act is a mostly harmless fantasy of trying to break through the glass ceilings that hold so many people down that is carried on the back of Jennifer Lopez. It’s cheesy and sappy while also being pretty entertaining.

Most people who check out Second Act will be here for Jennifer Lopez, and if you are then you will not be disappointed. While I don’t think it’s right to call this her A game, Jennifer is thoroughly entertaining throughout. She’s not alone, either. There’s an awesome cast here bringing an ensemble of characters that are likable and entertaining. Some of the absolute standouts for me were Charlyne Yi, Alan Aisenberg, and Leah Remini, but the whole cast was on point. It feels really good when you have a whole team that is working together and there are no real weak links.

Additionally, the writing is fun. There’s nothing truly amazing here and it may feel perfunctory to some, but I don’t think that’s particularly fair. There isn’t anything life-changing here, but not every movie needs to be. Some days you just need something sweet and light to help you feel just a bit better about the world, and for the most part, Second Act fills those shoes. Mostly. Some weird messaging about the desire to have kids weaves its way through the narrative that will not sit well with everyone who watches it.

Actually, I’m not going to pull my punches. The way the movie handles the conflict between a couple that has different life goals is downright bad. I was extremely unhappy with how it resolves the relationship between a woman who doesn’t want kids and a man who cannot be in a relationship with a woman who won’t raise children with him.

Moreover, on top of this problematic messaging, it is fair to say that Second Act doesn’t really aspire to do anything amazing. While you’re likely to enjoy it in the here and now, Second Act will quietly fade into the background of your life till one day you stumble over it on Netflix or whatever and choose to watch something similar but better instead.

If you just need something light to keep you warm for a night, Second Act will probably fill that role if you’re not particularly sensitive about unhealthy relationship pressures. It’s fun, there are a few laughs, a few feels, and it’s a bit uplifting despite being pretty forgettable.

Final Verdict:Entertaining despite being cheesy and predictable with some unfortunate messaging.