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I Regret to Inform You That I Can't Watch Two Weeks Notice Ever Again

The golden age of romantic comedies has long passed. In Rom-Com Rewind, we take a deep dive into the movies we so loved. Do they stand the test of time? Do they make any sense? Just how believable are they? Are they actually any good the second (or third, or fourth) time around? Let’s just see, shall we?

I regret to tell you that I can never watch Two Weeks Notice ever again.

You might ask why a 2002 romantic comedy that stars international sweethearts Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock has caught my ire in such a way. I mean, Hugh Grant! He plays George Wade, a super-wealthy boy-man who builds big buildings and ruins poor people’s lives and dreams—a time-tested rom-com career convention:

Very good-looking.

Warner Bros. Pictures

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Noughties angel Sandra Bullock stars as Lucy Kelson, a hippie-ish lawyer using her legal know-how to help communities, especially ones that gather in buildings (see where this is going?):

Two Weeks Notice

The floor is complex female characters in romantic comedies.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Plus, it’s a light, fluffy romantic comedy—the kind of movie designed to make you feel nice inside, rather than like a giant, misshapen slug wearing a backpack full of sadness. But when I revisited Two Weeks Notice, I found several of its elements rather repulsive, which caused me to sigh huffily (but dramatically finish watching the whole thing anyway). Want to know what was so wrong with it? I will tell you.

1. The main female character gets a really raw deal.

Lucy Kelson is smart, opinionated, hardworking, and goal-oriented. She has a great relationship with her parents and with her one friend (yes, just one—but, you know, it’s a movie).

In other likeable traits, she also has a serious thing for Chinese takeout and orders one billion things from the menu every time. V relatable, as Bridget Jones would say. It’s good to have choices! All those little cartons! Just wonderful.

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But poor Lucy doesn’t really get what she deserves. As with all old-ish movies, I was willing to give the movie’s narrative arc and characterization a little leeway. Most romantic comedies from this era are a little problematic and eye-rolly when you look back upon them; as we all know, in 2002, feminism hadn’t even been invented yet. (JUST KIDDING.) But this movie really got on my nerves.

Principled Lucy takes a job with capitalism’s drudge George on the condition that his development company won’t knock down her family’s local community center, where she spent practically all of her childhood. He’s a difficult boss (more on that later), and she soon quits. But before she skedaddles, she gets drunk with him on a yacht, where she proceeds to tell him she’s a “twisty bobcat pretzel” (which, incidentally, is also the name of my ukulele trio) in bed and hits on him.

To be fair, it’s Hugh Grant, and: Same. But for this independent, intelligent, and typically professional woman to fall to pieces simply because she’s drunk and recently broke up with her boyfriend is very annoying. Furthermore, the idea that this functional adult would fall for a guy who is basically a five-year-old (see below) is laughable.

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