Maid in Manhattan
December 13, 2002
Though most people (other than Silent Bob) probably don't realize it, John Hughes is still quite active in Hollywood today. Though he hasn't been behind the camera since 1991, the man who brought us such classics as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink wrote the screenplay for the 2001 release Just Visiting and was almost lured back into the director's chair for The Chambermaid, a romantic comedy for which he also came up with the concept.
Shockingly, the action does not take place in Shermer, Illinois. Actually, it's a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale set in modern-day New York City. Jennifer Lopez will star as a chambermaid working in a posh hotel in the Big Apple. A wealthy and handsome politician (Ralph Fiennes) who is a guest at the hotel mistakes her for a woman of society, and they fall for each other as she finds new insight into the lives of the upper crust. Naturally, her real identity will be revealed, resulting in a number of comic misunderstandings, followed by what is sure to be a sweet, tidy ending. The script was actually sold within 24 hours after being submitted by Joe Roth's Revolution Studios, so it must have been considered a hot commodity.
Hughes will remain aboard as producer, while Wayne Wang (Center of the World, The Joy Luck Club) directs. It's a formulaic flick that is almost sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and there is little doubt that Sony will take full advantage of this fact. Opening at approximately the same time as 2000's Miss Congeniality, The Chambermaid has every chance at following a similar trending pattern: modest holiday opening followed by strong holdover weekends, particularly if the film receives good word-of-mouth. (Kim Hollis/BOP)