Criticism

Enough

enough

With Enough, Jennifer Lopez – Ms. Lo to you and me – continues steadily on her journey from respected actress to camp icon. Now, I love a good wife-on-the-run-in-disguise movie as much as the next guy, and since there hasn’t been a decent one since the Ashley Judd wig-a-thon Double Jeopardy, I was really looking forward to seeing J-Lo break out the hairpieces and sunglasses. I wasn’t disappointed:  the moment J-Lo slips a bright auburn bob over the frosted brown shag she’s already wearing was, for me, the high point of the film. As for the rest of the movie, well, it’s chock full of laughs. Only trouble is, it’s not a comedy.

Apparently aware that many of J-Lo’s fans aren’t exactly Rhodes Scholars, director Michael Apted conveniently titles each section of the movie – “How They Met,” “Our Happy Family,” “Get Out,” “You Can Run,” etc. – to help audiences follow the simplistic plot. J-Lo plays ordinary gal Slim – yes, Slim – a waitress at a greasy spoon who thinks she’s found Prince Charming in Mitch (Bill Campbell), a chivalrous millionaire with chiseled features. One glance at the asinine top hat he wears to their wedding told me he was a freak, but it takes Slim a full six years to learn her husband’s a philandering brute. To be fair, that’s not totally her fault; for years he’s the perfect gentleman, then one day (as happens in badly-written movies), he inexplicably transforms from a delightfully eccentric mogul to a deranged creep. After several unsuccessful attempts to escape with her daughter, Slim realizes her only chance to get away is to fight back. So, she hooks up with a trainer, and before you can say Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, she’s climbing walls, picking locks – I half expected her to start flying over rooftops and landing in trees. Finally, she’s ready to face her husband; it’s like The Karate Kid, but with slightly worse acting.

And that’s the puzzling part. There’s no clear-cut explanation for what’s happened to J-Lo since her first-rate performances in Selena and Out of Sight. It’s as if life as a pop music superstar has sucked the acting ability right out of her. Maybe she’s been getting acting tips from fellow diva Mariah Carey. Whatever the reason, J-Lo can’t keep on turning out such cheesy (yet irresistible) flicks if she wants to retain her reputation as a serious actress. Guilty pleasure or not, Enough is enough.

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Enough Cropped
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