Coming to Blu-ray from director Peter Segal, STX Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes a chance to turn dreams into reality with “Second Act.”
Maya (Jennifer Lopez) works for a grocery story and has made her way up the ladder hoping that she would finally cement a managerial position. Boyfriend Trey (Milo Ventimiglia) is supportive and lets Maya know he is ready to start a family. But Maya has a secret, which is keeping her from taking that step.
When she doesn’t get the job, bff Joan (Leah Remini) believes she is meant for better things anyway but not before Maya and Trey end their relationship. Her son Dilly (Dalton Harrod) and Joan decide they are going to help Maya along a little. After a run-in at work, Maya walks away but not before Joan lets her know that Anderson Clarke (Treat Williams) and his company want to interview Maya for a big job.
Maya is stunned when she realizes that Dilly has highly inflated her resume and even more when she gets the job. Someone who isn’t so happy is Zoe Clarke (Vanessa Hudgens) seeing Maya as a problem, especially when it comes up that their “organic” products aren’t truly organic.
That’s when a challenge is placed before Maya and Zoe, to see who can truly make an organic product that will make the company a serious profit. Using her smarts, Maya is put to the test while trying to hide exactly who she is from everyone around her, remembering who she is for herself and discovering that her past is right in front of her.
That’s what happens in a second act!
Lopez as Maya is playing a character that she has done before and the formula works for her. In this film she is a woman who has a secret in her past that keeps her from moving forward in her relationships. Jumping into the new job, Maya does so with constant pitfalls that, like Lopez, makes work to her advantage. We have seen that in her films “The Wedding Planner” and “Maid in Manhattan,” so stay with what works.
Hudgens as Zoe is a young woman who is also dealing with a past and putting her life aside to help her father. Starting out as competitors, Hudgens gives her characters scowl a few smiles and befriends Maya. Both have secrets and both have goals that are not far from one another’s dreams.
Ventimiglia as Trey starts out the film using his charm and wit, which is nice, and everything we expect from him. Of course he is first and foremost Jack on the hit series “This is Us,” but we ladies certainly don’t mind seeing him in this film.
Remini as Joan is hilarious as the bff who really wants her friend to be happy in more than just being a manager of a grocery story. What totally cracks me up about her character is the relationship she has with her two kids — one in college and one with a trash mouth. She handles them both beautifully and hilariously.
Williams as Clarke is a man who knows how to make a company successful. He sees something in Maya that has the potential to be amazing for his company. I have watched Williams over the years and know one thing for sure, he is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors.
Two standouts for me in the film are Yi as Ariana, a very smart young girl who is constantly squashed for her knowledge until Maya steps in. The other is Annaleigh Ashford as Hildy who is the outspoken assistant to Maya who is the squasher. There is something about both of these actresses that I truly enjoy and can see such fantastic potential for both.
Other cast include Annaleigh Ashford as Hildy, Charlyne Yi as Ariana, Alan Aisenberg as Chase, Reddie Stroma as Ron Ebsen, Dave Foley as Felix Herman, Larry Miller as Weiskopf, Lacretta as Suzi, Dan Bacatinsky as Arthur and Diedre Friel as Big Ant.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer go to www.uphe.com.
The bonus features include “Explore the Themes of ‘Second Act’ with Cast and Filmmakers,” “Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia,” “The Empowering Women of ‘Second Act,’” “Friendship On and Off Screen,” “Working with the Ones You Love” and “‘Second Act’ Trailer.”
“Second Act” is a relatable story in that circumstance can sometimes be a punch in the gut but it is up to each of us to find our way through it. Of course I don’t suggest padding resumes but the character of Maya absolutely had something to offer in so many ways. Her creativity and ability to read people is something that isn’t taught in college. There are many people who have that!
On a less serious note, the cast makes the film emotional and fun with its twists and turns. I suppose you could call the film a rom-com if you agree that sometimes you have to court yourself to see what you are all about.
So plan to take a ride up the ladder with the film “Second Act” coming to Blu-ray. In the end — the only thing stopping you is you!