Years after battling it out for Michael Vartan's devotion in Monster-in-Law, Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda find themselves on the same side of a contentious coin.
A North Carolina woman has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the leading ladies—and a whole bunch of others who worked on the 2005 comedy—of pilfering the plot from a screenplay she wrote based on her own experiences with a monstrous mother-in-law.
Sheri Gilbert, a self-proclaimed aspiring screenwriter, doesn't detail just how Lopez, Fonda, director Robert Luketic, Warner Bros. Entertainment, New Line Productions and 28 other defendants got their hands on the script she penned in 1998.
But she believes she is entitled to a portion of the $154.8 million the film made at the box office.
"I felt it unusual," Gilbert says of the shenanigans that occurred between her and her own mom-in-law, which she felt were mirrored by Lopez and Fonda's characters onscreen. "I'd never experienced it before."
But Warner Bros., for one, doesn't think Gilbert has cornered the market on marrying into an exasperating family.
"Plaintiff contends that she can 'own' the well-worn, general 'mother-in-law' character type simply by filing a copyright application," counsel for Warner Bros. said in a statement.
"Such is not the law."
Lawyers for the defense have requested the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, N.C., be dismissed.