You never see a computer in “Maid in Manhattan” (or at least I didn’t notice one). In the other movies, computers were everywhere, and, in all probability, computer manufacturers paid the studios to have their equipment prominent displayed, as has been the case since the early days of PCs. Now it’s a different ballgame. Computers and the Internet aren’t just a part of the everyday office environment, the Internet and Google in particular have become an ordinary part of the English language — not just how we do business, but how we think, how we deal with our children and with the complex world we live in.

When she uses the expression “google it”, no other explanation is required either for her son or for the movie-going audience. There’s no mention of the Internet or search — all of that is implied in the newly-coined verb “google”. No big deal. To me the fact that that is not a big deal to characters of this kind in this kind of a movie is a very big deal indeed.
To me this movie marks a stage in Internet history, somewhat like the cartoon in the New Yorker, back in July 1993, that showed two dogs looking at a computer monitor, and the one dog said to the other, “On the Internet, no one knows that you’re a dog.” That was then followed by the first appearances of URLs and email addresses on billboards and in radio and TV ads; and the first intelligent use of the Internet as a plot element in a high-tech popular movie with Sandra Bullock in “The Net,” then the first use of the Internet as a plot device in a romantic comedy with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail.” But in both those movies, and their imitators, the writers and directors felt it necessary to explain the technology. The people who used the technology were early adopters, a cut above the ordinary.

The ten-year-old kid is shown to be bright when by chance he happens to be in an elevator with a New York state assemblyman who wants to run for the US Senate. The kid knows the candidate’s voting record on environmental issues and makes some intelligent observations. The assemblyman’s overzealous idiot assistant is shocked that the kid knows so much. But the assemblyman and the kid both take it for granted that all that info is readily accessible by all on the Web. Smart people know that and use that capability, regardless of their wealth, education, or background. Only fools don’t. More power balance, you can click each website, such as:

They are walking up a New York City street. The mother, an underprivileged Hispanic, who works as a maid in Manhattan, has lived within a four-block radius in the Bronx all her life. Presumably, she never went to college. The theme of the movie contrasts her life style and that of the very privileged future US senator (son of a US senator) who falls in love with her. It’s a modern Cinderella story, reminiscent of Flash Dance, except in Flash Dance the Cinderella had talent and had to prove she had talent to achieve her dream. In this case, Jennifer Lopez just has to be gorgeous.

power balance