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Two Weeks Notice

Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock

Two Weeks Notice is another rom com that I forgot that I’ve seen years ago. Lucy (played by Bullock) is a legal aid attorney and social justice activist. She lands a job with a billionaire tycoon (Grant) and influences him to use his money for good instead of evil. He is very much taken with her discipline and intelligence and a romance between the unlikely couple follows.

Lucy is smart, dedicated to her work, and unable to keep a guy. She has a slightly ‘nutty’ edge. So we can see that the workaholic, nutty female protagonist was a character in the classic rom com as far back as at least 2002. I think we’re starting to see a slight move away from this character (perhaps archetypal figure) from time to time, but she is generally still the most common female protagonist in the 21st Century rom com.

Two Weeks Notice sports a very Hugh Grant-esque ending, with that Hugh Grant-esque speech you gotta love. It’s quite a good flick for romance, but doesn’t have the clever humour that has developed in rom coms over the last few years. Still quite a good movie though and you’ll probably see it come up on TV now and again, so give it a try.

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About a Boy

Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult

Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, Hugh Grant plays the ever-so-cool Will – he’s an island, he’s Ibiza, he needs no-one in his life except himself. He has a series of short term relationships with women. Eventually he starts targeting single mums for dates, believing that they need the sex but not the long term commitment. But single mums turn out to be a little more complicated than he imagined.

He meets a very uncool 12 year old boy called Marcus, who drags Will kicking and screaming into his life with his depressed single mum, Fiona (played by Collette). Marcus is trying anything to cure Fiona and thinks Will could help. Will tries to stay out of their way, but he can’t, Marcus won’t let him. It seems as if Marcus needs him, but in the end, it’s Will who needs them more. He find some-one he wants to have a long term relationship with and realises that his island life is empty and shallow and he needs to let people in.

I have always loved this movie. Hugh Grant is excellent, as is Toni Collete. They are two actors who can rarely do wrong, especially when they play roles that suit them, like Will and Fiona. The script doesn’t introduce too many characters too quickly, so you have enough time to get to know each one. All the parts are meaningful, the comedy is subtle, it has a great soundtrack, and there is a solid rom com ending. This is one film that has always been worth having in the DVD collection.

Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant

Here is the follow up to Bridget Jones’s Diary. If you like the first movie, you will undoubtedly like the second because it still sports Renee, Colin and Hugh in the same roles. It’s not quite as good as the first, but it is still a classic rom com beauty.

Bridget is back and this time in a relationship. Now she has to to negotiate her way through the trials and tribulations of having a love life. All is going well until that bad boy comes back into her life. Again, which one will she chose?

She has to find strength within herself to handle the situation she gets into in Thailand – there are some terribly funny scenes in this part. Renee is delightful as the gorgeous and slightly accident-prone Bridget.

This sequel doesn’t follow the book as closely as the first movie does. I think I like the story line in the book better than the film’s narrative. Nevertheless, it’s still a charmer and so is Bridget.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant

Based on the Helen Fielding novel of the same name, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a classic classic classic rom com and one of my favourites.

Renee plays Bridget Jones, a (supposedly) slightly overweight, single, career woman in her thirties looking for love. The story is told through Bridget’s narrative, as written in her diary.  It’s in her diary that she daily monitors her drinking, smoking, and weight, knowing these are the areas in her life that need monitoring (and improvement).

She has three best friends (all single) who form her support network. I do love movies with a group of friends you can call on anytime. And she does need to call on them as there are times when she gets her heart broken.  But when necessary, she has the strength to take control of her life.

Bridget has two men in her life – her boss (who becomes her ex-boss) played by the dishy Hugh Grant; and a family friend’s son played by the even dishier Colin Firth. One is a bad boy and one is a goody two-shoes. So who will she chose, or who will chose her?

Bridget may have been looking for love, but she learnt how much to value herself and not be taken for granted. I can watch this movie any time. It’s a charmer and so is Bridget.

Music and Lyrics

Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore

I love Hugh Grant.  And I love Drew Barrymore.  So together it should be perfect, but…

I do remember this film was hailed as a flop.  And it kind of is, but it’s not all that bad. I mean at least you get to see Hugh and Drew. She does have a good array of scarves, take note.

Hugh plays Alex Fletcher, ex-eighties pop ‘has been’.  New teenage pop sensation, Cora, wants Fletcher to write a song for her new album in but a matter of days. As Fletcher hasn’t written a new song in 10 years and can’t really write lyrics, it is opportune that he meets Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) who seems to have a gift with the rhyming. He’s the music, she’s the lyrics – “it’s the combination of the two that makes it magic”.

The two get on well, have an easy continuous dialogue, and are supportive friends for each other’s relationship and career problems. And when they get together, they stay great friends for a while, but creative differences divide them…build towards big climax at the end blah blah blah, it doesn’t matter.

Love Actually

Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Heike Makatsch, Rowan Atkinson

“Love actually is all around”.

There are a number of story lines in this film about couples and friends that all connect with each other, some from the very beginning, some that develop along the way. This is done so effortlessly and so smoothly that you never find yourself lost or confused about who everyone is. There are some very clever juxtapositions, and subtle comparisons.

Everyone is looking for love, but sometimes it’s complicated. Some didn’t think they were looking for love; some don’t know how or where to look; some shouldn’t have been looking; and some find themselves being loved when they didn’t realise it.

Bill Nighy is excellent, as is Hugh Grant. Emma Thomson is wise, and Colin Firth makes you giggle.

What can I say – I love this movie and it’s one of my all time favourites, even though it comes around every Christmas. You need to watch it, own it, and watch it again.

Did you hear about the Morgans?

Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker

Because I loved Hugh Grant so much in About a Boy and Nottinghill, I was really looking forward to seeing this film, especially coupled with SJP. I was quite excited when I saw the preview short, but unfortunately, when it came time to sit and watch the whole film, it wasn’t that great and I was disappointed (but then I had been to see Sex in the City II, and who couldn’t be completely dismayed with SJP films after watching that abomination)!

Grant and SJP are a separated couple who happen to be together when they witness a murder.  They have to be put into a witness protection program and being together means they have time to sort out their problems. It’s no surprise that the extra-ordinary circumstances rekindle the romance (the script is a little predictable).

The Morgans are true New Yorkers when they are sent into protection in a small town in the mid-west. This New Yorkness enables the comedy to centre around the city-slickers being in the country. There’s a funny incident with a bear that gets an okay laugh. And there are a few other sniggers at Grant’s quirky quips – thank goodness he is in the film, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth a watch at all.

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