Second Act

index21212Second Act casts a wide comical net on the case of “street smarts” vs. “book smarts”. Maya Vargas (Jennifer Lopez), from Queens, New York is a hard – working, assistant manager at Value Shop.  Eager to be promoted, she passionately objects when she finds out that a recent MBA graduate student from Duke has landed her dream job as Manager of the store. Frustrated and furious, Maya knows that she has diligently worked hard for that position – and with a proven track record of 15 years, she has earned it. Now in her 40’s, many thoughts cross her mind knowing that she has demonstrated that she is the right person for that position as Manager, and now how does she move up in her career. Loomed with sadness, she begins to have doubts about a secretive decision that she made in her past. Contemplating on what to do next, she becomes disheartened and disgusted with her new pushy boss who insists on his crazy ”team-building” exercises for all the employees. Maya gets in trouble for rolling her eyes at him and thankfully is interrupted by a phone call. Answering the call, she realizes that this could be an opportunity of a lifetime when she hears who is on the other end.  It’s an unexpected phone call offering her to interview at a very prestigious cosmetic company. Maya is not sure how they found her and in disbelief – wondering if this interview is for real, since she sent no resume.  So how did this happen? By the way of a birthday wish and with the help of her best friend, Joan’s (Leah Remini) son?

Maya interviews and her life immensely changes with many new challenging surprises.  Consequently, Maya’s decision to leave her old job eventually leads to an ultimatum and a break up with the love of her life, Trey (Milo Ventimiglia). Heart-broken, she makes the decision to move on with hidden secrets that will be hard to keep. Her best friend, Joan loves to give Maya hilarious and unsolicited advice in this new Madison Avenue lifestyle.  And in addition to Joan’s help, she has the support of her previous co-workers and friends at Value Shop.

Taking on this new role, Maya finds herself going up against Zoe Clarke (Vanessa Hudgens), the daughter of the owner, Anderson Clarke (Treat Williams) of Franklin and Clarke, a prestigious cosmetic company. Butting heads, a competition is spurred on and the two women are out to prove themselves. A time clock starts with each woman having to put together a new team to create a new skin care product. The two very diverse teams become highly competitive and creative. This new product must not only bring in more revenue, but the teams must keep the costs down so F&C remain a leading competitor in the world of cosmetics. The gloves are on – and the two teams are ruthless. Maya is now put to the test when landing this new high-powered position as one thing leads to another.

A wish come true – yes, but with taking on this new role, Maya finds herself up against some unusual discoveries and hard truths about herself that she must eventually face.  In her determination, she questions herself, at what cost will this be to prove her point and validate her “Street Smarts” is every bit as valuable as a person who has “Book Smarts”.

There are some moments of drama which is laced in humor and warm-hearted compassion. The chemistry created between Jennifer Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens is heartfelt. I found the moral of this story is – in truth and honesty there can be a second chance in life – just go out and grab it – a second act.

Release Date: December 21, 2018

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Milo Ventimiglia, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini

Director: Peter Segal

Distributor:  STX Entertainment

Rated: PG 13

Run time: 1h 45 min

Genre: Comedy/Romance



Keely Smith-Wallace| Writing Contributor
B.A | Communications | University of Pittsburgh
Keely Smith-Wallace loves to write, is an avid adventurer and adores compelling stories.  After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Degree in Communications she landed a job with British Airways and traveled the world.  People, places, movies, music, theatre and travel perpetuates her passion to seek out stimulating stories in the world of entertainment and interesting lifestyles.   Look for her insightful reviews to find out what’s new, what’s hot and where you may like to trot – for an awesome experience! Instagram: @ScribeKeelySWView My Blogs 

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