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Maid in Manhattan

Maid in Manhattan film poster
Directed by Wayne Wang
Produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
Paul Schiff
Deborah Schindler
Written by John Hughes (story)
Kevin Wade (screenplay)
Starring Jennifer Lopez
Ralph Fiennes
Natasha Richardson
Stanley Tucci
Frances Conroy
Amy Sedaris
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Editing by Craig McKay
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release date(s) December 13, 2002
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $154,906,693

Maid in Manhattan is a 2002 romantic comedy film about a hotel maid and a high profile politician who fall in love, directed by Wayne Wang and starring Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson. It is based on a story by John Hughes, who is credited using a pseudonym. The original music score is composed by Alan Silvestri. The film was released on December 13, 2002.



Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a struggling single mother trying to get by with her young son Ty (Tyler Posey) by working as a maid for a hotel. When not in school, Ty spends time among Marisa's fellow hotel workers, most of whom treat the pair as family. Marisa hopes to someday be promoted to management.

While Marisa and fellow maid Stephanie are cleaning the room of socialite Caroline Lane (Natasha Richardson), Stephanie convinces Marisa to try on a coat that Caroline had previously asked be returned to the store, arguing that it "technically" doesn't belong to anyone at the moment. Elsewhere in the hotel, Ty befriends hotel guest and senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes); Ty wants to go with Chris to walk his dog and the pair go to Caroline Lane's room to ask Marisa for permission. Chris meets Marisa, who is wearing the fancy coat, and assumes that she is Caroline Lane. The trio spend some time together in the park. Though Marisa and Chris are attracted to each other, Marisa is terrified that management will find out about the ruse and makes it a point to avoid Chris afterward.

Chris asks the hotel's head butler Lionel Bloch (Bob Hoskins) to invite "Caroline Lane" to lunch, but he is confused when the real Caroline shows up instead of Marisa (ironically, Marisa was present when she received the invitation, and even offered Caroline some advice on what to wear to the date). Chris asks his assistant Jerry Siegal (Stanley Tucci) to find "the other Caroline Lane", promising that he will attend an important dinner if she will go with him. Jerry asks Lionel to find her. Lionel, who has figured out that Marisa is the woman Chris has been looking for, tells her to go to the dinner and end the affair swiftly if she wants to keep her possible future in hotel management intact. He and the hotel's staff assist her in preparing for the fancy dress affair, styling her hair and loaning her a fancy dress and a spectacular necklace.

Marisa attends the dinner and attempts to do as Lionel instructed her, but Chris stops her from leaving and the pair spend the night together in his hotel room. Marisa sneaks out the next day but is seen by Caroline, who informs hotel management. The truth is revealed, and Marisa is fired from the hotel. Chris tries to get the whole story out of Marisa, but she refuses to speak to him, claiming that he wouldn't have noticed her if she had been in her maid uniform.

Some time later, Marisa has obtained a job at another hotel. Ty attends one of Chris' press conferences and asks him whether people should be forgiven if they make mistakes. Chris responds in the affirmative, and Ty leads him to a room in the same hotel, where Marisa happens to be now employed. Chris and Marisa are reunited. The film ends with images of publications showing that Chris has been elected, he and Marisa are still together after one year, Marisa has started her own hospitality business, and Marisa's maid friends have been promoted to management.

Production notes

Filming was carried out at both New York's Roosevelt Hotel and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.


Similarity to 1935 film

Although never cited in the onscreen credits or in any supplemental material by the producers or writers, the basic premise of a luxury hotel maid being mistaken for a famous hotel guest after being seen wearing clothes that were meant for someone else was explored earlier in the 1935 Warner Bros. comedy, Page Miss Glory. Maid in Manhattan's writer John Hughes' original title for the story was The Chambermaid, which is what Marion Davies's character is called in Page Miss Glory.



The film earned $18,711,407 domestically in its opening weekend, the movie was #1 at the box office playing in 2,838 theaters.[1] The film grossed a total of $94,011,225 domestically and $60,895,468 internationally.[1]


The film features Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" in the opening credits and "Come Away With Me" and "Don't Know Why" sung by Norah Jones.


  • ABC announced in August 2008 that it would be adapting the film to a television series, with Jennifer Lopez producing.[2][3] As of March 2010, the IMDb still lists "Maid in Manhattan (2009)" as in production[4], but a 2009 Sony Pictures Television press release only shows it as a put pilot.[5] ABC Television has yet to release or air any version of the pilot project.


External links


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