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Monster-in-Law (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 13 May 2005 (USA)
1:20 | Trailer
The love life of Charlotte is reduced to an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets the perfect man, Kevin. Unfortunately, his merciless mother will do anything to destroy their relationship.


Robert Luketic


Anya Kochoff
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Lopez ... Charlie
Jane Fonda ... Viola Fields
Michael Vartan ... Dr. Kevin Fields
Wanda Sykes ... Ruby
Adam Scott ... Remy
Monet Mazur ... Fiona
Annie Parisse ... Morgan
Will Arnett ... Kit
Elaine Stritch ... Gertrude
Stephen Dunham ... Dr. Paul Chamberlain
Randee Heller ... Beverly Hills Dog Owner
Mark Moses ... Coffee Shop Customer
Tomiko Fraser ... Coffee Shop Clerk
Rochelle Flexer Rochelle Flexer ... Dr. Patel's Nurse
Wayne Nickel Wayne Nickel ... George


After years of looking for Mr. Right, Charlotte 'Charlie' Cantilini finally finds the man of her dreams, Kevin Fields, only to discover that his mother, Viola, is the woman of her nightmares. A recently fired news anchor who is afraid she will lose her son the way she has just lost her career, Viola determines to scare off her son's new fiancé by becoming the world's worst mother-in-law. While Viola's long-time assistant Ruby does her best to help Viola execute her crazy schemes, Charlie decides to fight back and the gloves come off as the two women battle it out to see just who is the alpha-female. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He gave her a ring. His mom gave her a finger. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex references and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Shari Wacks designed the jewelry for the film. See more »


When Charlie and Viola are watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, the scene in the movie where Freddy chases Tina is shown first and a few moments later the scene where Freddy appears for the very first time is shown, like the movie is playing backwards. See more »


[first lines]
[Charlie sitting at her desk at home. Phone rings. Charlie lets the answering machine pick up and listens to the recording]
Charlotte 'Charlie' Cantilini: [Answering machine message] Hi, it's Charlie. Leave a message.
[Answering machine beeps to signal beginning of message]
Carol, from LA Temp Agency: [Leaving message on answering machine] Hi Charlie, it's Carol from the L.A. Temp Agency. Listen, Dr. Patel's office needs you for tomorrow. Is that ok? Let me know. Bye.
[Answering machine beeps signaling end of message]
Remy: [Charlie sketching]
See more »


Featured in Romantic Comedy (2019) See more »


Love (Koop Remix)
Written by Rosey (as Nancy Joy Kaye) and Darryl Swann
Performed by Rosey
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

Great another cliché. Just what we all need
4 May 2005 | by mch2kSee all my reviews


Okay, so right off the bat I have to say that Monster In Law is bad. It's really dumb, cliché ridden, and common. It's not Showgirls bad but it is mediocre and I think I've had quite enough of mediocrity. I know many of you out there might be saying: "well what do you expect, Citizen Kane". Well, yes I do. At least the "Citizen Kane" of modern romantic comedies. Hell, I'll take an attempt at something unique or original; but to be honest I'm sick of settling and forgiving these films for their lack of creativity just because these movies are charming.

Set in the near future a space alien steals the DNA of…just kidding. Monster in Law is the story of the nicest girl ON THE PLANET (Jennifer Lopez) who meets the perfect man (Michael Vartan). When I say perfect I mean the dude is perfect; he's a surgeon, you see, and every time someone on his operating table dies he yells: "It…just… doesn't… get… any easier!!!" No, I'm kidding again. He is a surgeon, yes, but he's perfect so no one dies. Anyway, nicest girl, perfect man want to get married. Enter perfect man's mom (Jane Fonda). JaFo doesn't want MiVa to marry J.Lo. I wasn't quite sure of the reason why. I think it had to do with some sort socialite caste system. See, Jenny From The Block is merely a temp/dog walker and Hanoi Jane is a rich T.V, talk personality who drops names like a seagull at a statue. So obviously Lopez isn't good enough for Vaughn…I mean Vartan.

Over the course of the movies 90 minute running time you will be subjected to the following: Conspiracies to derail the wedding. The Clinging Mother who feigns anxiety attacks. The "Dogs attacking Prada/Gucci/Fendi" gag. The sleeping pill resulting in the face- in-the-worlds-worst-food/dish joke. And, if orange is the new black; allergy flare-ups in romantic comedies must be the new fart joke. Oh, and just when you think they couldn't possibly go there, the words: "You win, the wedding's off" actually are spoken thus giving us all the required rom-com conflict clichés.

There is something that I must concede. Wanda Sykes not only steals this movie from its two stars but she is so good that I would pay money to see her do it again (rental people rental). She is hilarious as Fonda's caustic quick-witted assistant. Sykes has made a career out of playing the sidekick and all her training has paid of beautifully. No one could've delivered the line: "I think I dislocated my vagina" as well as Sykes. She is the reason you won't ask for your money back at the end of Monster In Law.

Sykes aside Monster in Law has remained faithful to the unoriginal formula Hollywood has been recently churning out. I, for one am done forgiving talented people for being just good enough. You hear me Keanu! You make too much God Damned money to suck as often as you do. The same goes for Fonda and Lopez. Vartan gets a pass cause he's new.

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USA | Germany



Release Date:

13 May 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monster-in-Law See more »


Box Office


$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,000,000, 15 May 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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