Director Wayne Wang (THE JOY LUCK CLUB, SMOKE) updates the familiar Cinderella story in this charming romantic comedy. Jennifer Lopez stars as Marissa Ventura, a beautiful young woman who divides her time between her precocious son Ty (Tyler Posey) and her housekeeping duties at The Beresford, an upscale Manhattan hotel. When the boyish and affluent politician Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) shares an amusing elevator ride with Ty, he subsequently meets Marissa. As luck would have it, Marissa is mischievously sporting an exotic Dolce & Gabbana gown belonging to another Beresford tenant, and is mistaken by Christopher as a guest of the hotel. The two undeniably hit it off, but Marissa is unable to reveal her working-class secret, afraid of losing her job. Christopher is completely smitten and makes numerous attempts to locate her, despite the comedic fact she is often right under his nose. While the film is always lighthearted and fun, it does not shy away from foregrounding race and class issues, devoting much screen time to Marissa's coworkers and their struggles to survive. As a rags-to-riches fairy tale, MAID IN MANHATTAN hits all the right notes.
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