On the surface, this is the story of a maid, Marissa (Jennifer Lopez), a single mom, who works at a posh New York City hotel. Midway through the movie she’s chosen for a supervisor’s training program. She enters the program and is doing well. Under odd circumstances, one day Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), a senatorial candidate staying at the hotel, meets Marissa and mistakes her for the wealthy socialite, Caroline Lane. Against her better judgment Marissa goes along with the deception and they spend one magical, intimate night together. Marissa is fired when the real Caroline Lane exposes her as a fraud.
Now, for A Deeper Look.
Both in her work and her personal life, we see that Marissa is a Superiority (Achieving personality; she has many goals. Because they get bored easily, Achieving people love moving forward to new things. They want variety. They seek change because it means growth.
Marissa expects a lot from herself so she tries for perfection wherever she is. Superiority people always have high standards for themselves and usually for others, too. If you watch Marissa with this in mind, you’ll see it in the scene where she puts a sprig of lavender on a pillow as she cleans.
Superiority people are strong thinkers; their thoughts come quickly. They like to analyze. You hear Marissa’s clear opinions come out when she challenges Chris about his fundraising in the sidewalk scene. There Marissa shows how independent she is; she’ not afraid to speak her thoughts to this powerful guy.
Marissa also has a strong second style: Control, both Over Herself and Over Her Situations. She’s disciplined. You see this when she’s at her job and also, in how she handles her son. The one place where her self-control fails her is when she goes to the park with Chris Marshall. I have the feeling that it doesn’t happen very often; here it’s because of her overwhelming draw to Chris and a lot of pressure from a close friend. Because of this lapse, she loses her job.
But, by the end of the movie, a year later, Marissa’s two personality styles have served her well. She’s reached her job goal: to be a supervisor at another high-end New York hotel.
Chris Marshall’s strongest type is also Superiority. How do we know? He’s picked the difficult goal of being elected to a senatorial seat in New York. So, we see that he, too, wants to move ahead. We see another goal of his: relationship with Marissa.
Otherwise, Chris has a pretty balanced combination of the Control Over Self, Control Over His Situations and the strong Pleasing in his personal life. More Pleasing than we see in Marissa.
Even though Chris and Marissa have very different formal education backgrounds, they’re pretty evenly matched in their self-confidence. Marissa understands that we don’t have to have a college degree and wealth to be happy or successful. Good for her!
A note: Marissa’s best “maid” friend and Marissa’s mother are both Controlling types. Their motivations are different but Control is Control, no matter why you do it.
Overall, I really like this movie. Aside from the serious stuff, there were funny moments and even one musical number. And, I really liked the end of the movie. Disney’s “live happily ever after” feels great to me. How about you?
My best to you till next time,