Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

A date movie that's 'Maid' to order

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 16, 2002

Movie: Maid in Manhattan

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a struggling single mother working as a maid in an upscale New York hotel. After being persuaded by a friend, she tries on an expensive outfit she is supposed to be returning to the hotel's shop for a guest. Her son Ty (Tyler Posey) inadvertently introduces her to a man he met in the elevator, who happens to be a Senate candidate named Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes). He assumes she also is a hotel guest and falls head over heels for her. But tension grows in their relationship because Marisa doesn't know how to divulge her identity. All the while, she is trying to secure a managerial spot at the hotel and to be a good mother to Ty.
Jennifer Lopez dances with Ralph Fiennes
[Columbia Pictures photo]
Hotel maid Maris Venture (Jennifer Lopez) dances with senator candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) in Maid in Manhattan

My View: This actually wasn't half-bad. I can't say I was expecting much more than a flaky, fluffy love story with gushy dialogue and run-of-the-mill acting. What I got was a New York Cinderella story. Lopez and Fiennes jelled well. It was probably easy for Lopez to pull from her roots in the Bronx for this role: her heavy New York accent really came out and worked well for her character.

Recommendations: This is definitely a good date movie, or just right for a "girls night out." So bring a pal, kick back and have a good time. It earned the PG-13 rating for some language and sexual references in the humor, but there's really not much objectionable here.

Grade: B

- Billy Norris, 15, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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