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Film: Maid In Manhattan

Maid in Manhattan is a 2002 Romantic Comedy directed by Wayne Wang, and starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes.

Marisa Ventura (Lopez) is a single mother raising her son Ty (Tyler Posey) and working as a maid at the upscale Beresford Hotel in New York City. While Marisa and fellow maid Stephanie are cleaning the room of wealthy socialite Caroline Lane (Natasha Richardson), Stephanie convinces Marisa to try on an expensive outfit. Meanwhile, handsome, up-and-coming senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Fiennes) meets and befriends Ty, and they go to ask Marisa if Ty can go walking Marshall's dog in the park. Seeing Marisa in the expensive outfit, Marshall assumes that she is Caroline, and becomes attracted to her. She, likewise, becomes attracted to him. The two become entangled, but inevitably, sooner or later the real Caroline and the hotel management will find out what's going on...

Trope Namer of Mage in Manhattan, although the film does not exhibit said trope in any form.


This film provides examples of:

  • Beauty Inversion: Attempted, by putting Jennifer Lopez in a maid's uniform and pulling her hair back into a ponytail or bun. Although she's still gorgeous, the improvement when she puts on a ball gown is noticeable.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Bitch Alert: Rachel Hoffberg, Caroline's BFF. Also Marissa's mother.
  • Brainless Beauty: Caroline.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : Marisa is shown to be an exemplary employee who is being considered for a management position. The one time she breaks the rules—trying on a guest's clothes—it kicks off a chain of events that results in her being fired and hounded by the press regarding her relationship with Chris.
  • Charity Ball: Chris invites Marisa to a museum benefit, after which they consummate their relationship.
  • Chick Flick
  • Christmas Cake: Caroline is clearly worried that she's becoming this, Steph seems to fear this too, and Rachel appears to be in complete denial that she already is one.
  • Compressed Hair: Marissa is able to keep her waist-length hair tied up in a tight bun whenever she's working.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The jewellery lady tells Ty that if Marissa loses the expensive gold choker he will be "put up for adoption while my Mom rots in prison".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jerry.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ty's father is not in the picture. As if a phone call in which he cancels plans to take Ty away for the weekend isn't enough of a hint, his failure to show up at Ty's school for a performance solidifies the fact that he's a deadbeat.
  • Dumb Blonde: Caroline
  • Fake American: Ralph Fiennes as Christopher Marshall
  • Ethnic Menial Labor
  • The Ghost: Marcus, Ty's father. Also Eric, Caroline's boyfriend.
  • Karma Houdini: Hooh boy, Steph. Let's see: the entire mess is her fault, since she convinces Marissa to try on Caroline's clothes and when Chris shows up in the suite it's her who says that Marissa's Caroline. She is never punished for any of this, keeping her job at the hotel and eventually working for Marissa.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: In a sense, Steph works as a platonic version of this for Marissa.
  • Mighty Whitey: Marissa's mother seems to think of Chris as this.
  • My Beloved Smother: Marissa's mother, though she seems to be the type who wants to hold her child back, condescendingly discouraging her from applying for a management position, as well as from pursuing a relationship with Chris.
  • Nice to the Waiter: A measuring stick for most of the characters - Rachel is a bitch to Marissa, even going so far as to assume that she doesn't speak English. Caroline is much nicer, but still clearly views her as little more than a servant. Even Chris gets blasted for this when Marissa points out that he was completely oblivious to her the first time they met, when she was cleaning his bathroom, but noticed her instantly when she was dressed up in a Dolce & Gabbana coat.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Christopher is essentially a Republican version of John Kennedy, Jr.—mentions of him being the 3rd or 4th member of his family to seek political office, him seeking the very office his father held, the paparazzi constantly hounding him, etc. And a tabloid snapshot of him and his girlfriend's relationship-ending argument, as well as the press snapping photos of his and Marisa's spat seems very reminiscent of a fight Kennedy and then-fiancee Carolyn Bessette had in New York's Washington Square Park.
  • Princess for a Day
  • Rags to Royalty: Marisa marries Christopher and becomes the hotel's manager.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Marissa and Caroline.
  • Sassy Black Woman: One of Marissa and Steph's co-workers.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Chris and Marisa embrace and sink from view. The camera then pans down from a rosy dawn over the New York City skyline to find the two in bed, clearly post-coital.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: Marissa when she and Chris are about to sleep together.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: It's Jennifer Lopez so she's already stunning but still...
  • Spanner in the Works: Caroline and Rachel.
  • Spicy Latina: Steph. Marissa is an aversion.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Caroline. She comes across as a bit of a vapid airhead, but seems good natured enough. While her complaint to the management does inadvertently get Marissa fired, she wasn't being deliberately mean but instead justifiably upset about someone wearing her clothes and pretending to be her.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Upon confronting Marissa after learning who she really is, Chris asks, "Was any of it real?", referring to their fling. (her dishonesty has left him wondering if he's been the victim of an elaborate prank).


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alternative title(s): Maid In Manhattan
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