Director Peter Segal had been quiet for the five years after a series of Adam Sandler hits (50 First Dates, Anger Management) and the boxing dud Grudge Match. Now, he’s resurfaced with the Jennifer Lopez-led Second Act and The Pacifier/Spy Next Door-like Dave Bautista film, My Spy, due this year. With Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, Dan Bucatinsky, Milo Ventimiglia, and Treat Williams, Segal had more acting chops to work with in this outing, but the script by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas is more nuanced than you might expect.
Maya Vargas (Lopez) is an overachieving, hardworking assistant manager at a Value Stop location. She’s worked so hard that she believes she’ll be selected as the next manager but she gets passed over for a guy with an educational background (Bucatinsky). A teenager close to her falsifies her social media background, adding in a higher level of education, and suddenly other opportunities come to her.
The special features include an opportunity to “Explore the Themes of Second Act,” as well as “The Empowering Women of Second Act.” There’s a look at Ventimiglia, as well as a few behind-the-scenes featurettes like “Friendship on and off Screen” and “Working with the Ones You Love.” But there’s definitely a point to be made about the way that we dismiss people in society today based on what they have, or worse, what we think they lack.
The film might not be pre-education, but it will certainly challenge you to consider what judgments you make about people based on your own expectations or discrimination.