As a fan of Jane Fonda's acting, I was mildly interested in seeing this movie, her first in many years. I wish now that I hadn't wasted my time.
Granted, Jane Fonda is an asset to "Monster-in-Law." She brims with radiance and plays the Viola role with tremendous flair (although the psychosis of her character sometimes seems forced and exaggerated). My favorite scene, actually, is when she flies off the handle and tries to strangle a young singer whom she is interviewing on her talk show. There are a few moments where she effectively conveys the insecurity and desperation beneath Viola's nasty exterior. Nonetheless, even a brilliant actress cannot save a movie with such a weak script.
Take, for instance, the first few scenes, when Charlie and Kevin meet (in a most whimsical fashion, may I add). This introduction seems too drawn-out and ultimately worthless to the plot. I found myself mentally tuning out for the sake of my sanity.
Speaking of the two lovers, I'd be hard-pressed to name a more boring on-screen couple. J-Lo, as has been mentioned frequently on this site, comes across as too sweet and innocent and perfect throughout most of the movie. Simply put, she's annoying. I kept wishing they could have cast a more watchable actress. The Kevin character, also, has zero substance and is bland. He is like a prop that they casually drag into the movie whenever they need some filler between Charlie/Viola catfights.
Wanda Sykes, as Viola's assistant, is fairly comical and works much better with Jane Fonda than J-Lo does. Viola's mother-in-law also delivers her lines in an entertainingly caustic way. However, these two women do not have much screen time at all.
"Monster-in-Law" progresses as a string of loosely connected arguments. The result is tedious and mundane. There is no climax, really. If you've seen one spat between Charlie and Viola, you've seen them all. They spew petty insults...they seek revenge on each other...they go on to the next scene and repeat it all over again. It might be juicy if it weren't so repetitive, and if a different actress were squaring off against Jane Fonda, and if the dialogue weren't quite so stale.
The ending is literally an embarrassment. Oh, I won't give it away...except to say that I felt as if I were watching the end of a "Full House" episode. Yes folks, the music and lines are THAT corny and predictable. By the way, this is not a central plot point by any means, but Charlie's bridal gown is not particularly flattering. More like flattening. It makes her look as if she has no chest at all!
Anyhow, I would not recommend this fluffy, somewhat empty movie, which hardly evoked a laugh or even a smile from me. If you still want to see it, go ahead, but definitely don't expect too much. I saw this movie just a couple of hours ago and have already forgotten about most of it. Not that I'm complaining.