Why Second Act proves that reinvention is dead [review]
Second Act is a pretty forgettable film that squeaked a modest take at the Box Office. When you read others that cover the film, it tends to be the common theme. So, what about the movie? Well, what about it that you can’t tell from the trailer? That’s the problem with formulas.
I’m not here to engage in a debate about man movie formulas vs. female movie formulas. I’ll just say that sticking to the beaten path is good for familiarity, but bad for tension. Second Act is about a 40 year old trying to prove that street smarts is just as good as book smarts. What’s funny is that the people who usually argue for street smarts are dumber than a stack of books. Anyways, on with the show.
Jennifer Lopez is ripe for parody, but she must be doing something right. She keeps starring in this thin movies that find a way to break even. People must still want inspirational movies in the face of crushing reality. But, do they want to see someone like Lopez reinvent herself?
Vanessa Hudgens steals the show for me. After spending the weekend watching Powerless after seeing this film, I can’t figure it out. Why isn’t Hudgens a bigger name? Well, that’s because much like in every aspect of the American economy, older stars aren’t stepping down.
But, Hollywood is ruled by youth culture is a nice chant I already hear pouring out of the socially upright. That’s true to a point, but Tinseltown knows who butters their bread. It’s the name actors that can still open movies and they all tend to be around that 45-60 year old marker. Don’t believe me? Head over to IMDB and make a chart of the ages of the biggest earners.
What’s the point of all of this? Second Act much like real life wants to sell you on a narrative that things can change and improve dramatically. I’m here to say that’s a lie. Big bold move, I know! Yet, it’s why no one really cares about these movies past the initial viewing.
Think about when these movies are released. They usually get light pushes near the Holidays or big tentpoles releases. They’re always structured as alternatives for people who don’t want to experience the latest Marvel, Star Wars, whatever movie that season.
Beyond that, they’re always about the same thing. Everything in your life is changeable, but ultimately you want what you had…just with more money. I’m not going to argue that the film is well-acted. It’s just super bizarre that people keep flocking to movies that keep saying the same thing. Try to change, but just accept everything as it is with a little help.
Leah Remini was in it too! Keep sticking to the man, Queen of Queens.
Second Act is on Blu-ray and DVD today.