Movies Second Act - Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

Second Act – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Second Act is a touching story which is an ode to not just hard working women, but those who weren’t afforded the opportunity to go to college.  


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Director(s)Peter Segal
Written ByJustin Zackham, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
Date Released12/21/18
Genre(s)Comedy
Good If You LikeFeel Good Movies

Films About Women

Slightly Vulgar Comedy

Films Featuring Women Not Heavily About Romance

Noted Cast
MayaJennifer Lopez
JoanLeah Remini
DillyDalton Harrod
ArthurDan Bucatinsky
ZoeVanessa Hudgens
AndersonTreat Williams
ChaseAlan Aisenberg
ArianaCharlyne Yi
TreyMilo Ventimiglia
RonFreddie Stroma

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Second Act‘s Plot (Ending on 2nd Page)

Maya is a 40-year-old woman who dedicated 15 years of her life to a warehouse store and, 6 years ago, was promoted to assistant manager. She is part of the recent profits have jumped, alongside her friend Joan’s son, Dilly, and so she wants to be manager. Problem is, for some reason, the corporation decides you need a college degree to run a store. Damn in-house experience, hiring from internal, they go with a douche named Arthur with an MBA and who lacks people skills. At least the kind those in Ozone Park appreciate.

But not being appreciated at work isn’t Maya’s only issue. Maya’s boyfriend of 5 years, Trey, is talking about starting a family, asking Joan for some expertise on finding the right ring, and Maya is hiding something which makes her fearful of that. Luckily for her though, Dilly, hearing his godmother complain about life, opportunities for people without degrees, and etc decides to jump-start her life. He sets up internet profiles, her resume, and may have even hacked her references so their calls get redirected to him. The boy covers all his bases.

Thus giving Maya the opportunity to interview at F&C and attempt to fake it till she makes it. Something quite a few don’t plan to make easy. There is Ron, an entitled douche, as well as Zoe. Someone who is a tad bit threatened by Maya since she was brought on to consult on the line Zoe runs. Leading to the very competitive Zoe going head to head with Maya to create the best skin care product as Maya tries to balance her old life and making this new one seem authentic.

Highlights

An Ode To Those Not College Educated

Maya (Jennifer Lopez) being told she isn't getting the managerial position.
Maya (Jennifer Lopez)

Whether currently looking for a job or not, there comes the need to question why certain jobs mention having a degree at all? If you have 15 years of experience in anything, what does someone with less than half of that and a degree really have over you? The film shows how ridiculous that is, especially when it comes to people like Maya who didn’t just exist at a job for 15 years, but learned the ropes.

I’m talking about taking note of reports of what sells and what doesn’t. Also, likely having mentors in past managers who taught her terminology and, like how some blue collar jobs still have, basically being an apprentice. The kind who are trained, on the job, for success rather than stuck in a classroom learning theory, and subjects barely related to daily tasks, for 4+ years.

And considering how often people who live in working-class neighborhoods are portrayed, especially when older and don’t have college degrees, you have to admit Second Act is refreshing. For while, yeah, obviously things for someone who looks like Jennifer Lopez, with a kid who can hack people’s phones, creates a need to suspend disbelief, it doesn’t take away from the overall message. Not just disproving your life will be absolutely horrible if you don’t go to college but also the only thing separating most people from grand opportunities is elitism.

Jennifer Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens

While Maya and Trey’s relationship is cute, it pales in comparison to Maya and Zoe’s. In their relationship, we see something cuter, sweeter, more awe-inspiring than any love interest can bring. For while sisterhood and women being friends, like Joan and Maya, is a beautiful thing to see, so is one generation relating to the next. Setting an example, showing comradery, care, and even if competing, not being an ass****s about it.

There is more to their relationship than that, but that’s on the second page.

Chase and Ariana

While a lot of this movie deals with Maya trying to prove herself, there is some comedy to counterbalance the drama. Part of it is thanks to Chase and Ariana who are two awkward kids that Maya takes to. Ariana is her assistant of sorts and Chase plays a role in helping her get her product made. They, together and apart, are wonderfully weird, especially Ariana, and while not a huge selling point of the film, deserve to be recognized.

The Laughs & Joan

Joan (Leah Remini) and Maya (Jennifer Lopez) talking right before Maya quits her job.
Joan (Leah Remini) and Maya (Jennifer Lopez)

But they aren’t alone in crafting funny moments. Joan is perhaps the big-time deliverer thanks to her cursing, and that of her kids. Yet, she also brings another message into the film. For one could question what is Joan trying to do with her life as Maya revolutionizes hers. Well, the answer is represent the many women who sacrifice for their child so they can do better than them.

It isn’t made clear what hours Joan works, where the children’s father is, or how she affords all she has. Yet, it is clear she makes it work, her kids are loved and fed, and she even makes sure to be there for her friends as well. She is a superwoman of sorts and while she isn’t explicitly called that in the film, if you have someone like that in your life, you’ll recognize them in Joan.

On The Fence

The Plot Is Predictable

While I love the message and relationships the protagonist have, I have to be honest in noting that, maybe ¼ of a way through the film, maybe less, you’ll know how it will end. There are no shocks, twists, and un-tread roads with this film. If you guess it, more than likely you are right on the money or damn near close. Which isn’t frustrating, for it plays out in a way which maintains a sense of being entertaining. Yet, if you are someone who was expecting more or hold all films to a ridiculous standard, you might be disappointed or worse.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Purchase, Rent, Get Tickets, or Merchandise On (Fandango/ Amazon| ir?source=bk&t=amaall0c 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=1f9f3aaedfd6ffcc2aed19505a07bcc0& cb=1545418349655)

Second Act is a nice feel-good movie. It features an ode to the working class who know they deserve better, and perhaps a bit of a critique to the demand for college degrees. Especially for those who are older and experienced, but lack a piece of paper saying they sat in a room, or at their computer, for a set amount of time and took this many classes. Leading to why the positive label: For those who want to see something new, which is light, cute, but not Christmasy, this is for you. It has characters you’ll instantly love, some shallow ones you’ll hate, and multiple moments which might be predictable, but can still touch your heart.

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Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

Follow Wherever I Look on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

Review Summary

Second Act is a nice feel-good movie. It features an ode to the working class who know they deserve better, and perhaps a bit of a critique to the demand for college degrees. Especially for those who are older and experienced, but lack a piece of paper saying they sat in a room, or at their computer, for a set amount of time and took this many classes. Leading to why the positive label: For those who want to see something new, which is light, cute, but not Christmasy, this is for you. It has characters you’ll instantly love, some shallow ones you’ll hate, and multiple moments which might be predictable, but can still touch your heart.
An Ode To Those Not College Educated
90 %
Jennifer Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens
89 %
Chase and Ariana
88 %
The Laughs & Joan
87 %
The Plot Is Predictable
75 %

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?