Monster-in-Law (Robert Luketic). 102 minutes. Opens Friday (May 13). For venues and times, see Movies, page 102. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Jane Fonda is known for her hardcore aerobics videos, but the most difficult exercise is saved for the audience watching Monster-in-Law.
Fonda outmugs Jim Carrey as Viola Fields, a Barbara Walters-type over-the-top shrew who's just been fired by the network for a pretty young thing. In the movie's most promising scene, she lashes out at a Britney Spears clone who says of Roe vs. Wade that she doesn't support violent sports.
That's the last inspired thought in this by-the-books "comedy" before it gives us Jennifer Lopez as Charlie, the nicest woman in the world, a role supposedly written by first-time screenwriter Anya Kochoff but more likely created by J.Lo's ego.
Her prospective fiancé is Michael Vartan , the perfect man by Hollywood standards, a rich, gorgeous doctor who can wax poetic on your eye colour and is also clearly a spineless mama's boy.
The character development is as thin as the cast, so you'll also meet the vamp ex-girlfriend ( Monet Mazur ), witty gay neighbour ( Adam Scott , rising slightly above stereotype) and sassy black sidekick ( Wanda Sykes ).
On the plus side, there's a built-in callisthenics routine: leap over plot holes, run in place like the actors and squat on the ground at Kochoff's script level.