This 2002 romantic comedy was pretty refreshing in its opposites attract manner. There was more to it than that, because our two protagonists, Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) a very liberal lawyer who defends the people of her community, and George Wade (Hugh Grant), a charismatic, rich playboy who is the public face for his family’s building corporation, are more alike than they realize.
Lucy has been fighting against the Wade Corporation for years, as they have been tearing down the areas around her home in Coney Island for years for their development. The final straw comes when they propose to tear down the Coney Island community center, which has been in use since the 1920s, and is a historic landmark. Little does Lucy know, at this time, George is in the market to hire a new corporate lawyer. He is determined that the lawyer must be a woman, because it will make his straight-laced, humorless older brother angry. George has gone through many female lawyers from questionable law schools, and his brother insists that if he must get a new one, that she should be an Ivy League graduate. Lucy approaches him outside the Wade Industries building one morning with her arguments about why the Coney Island Community Center should not be destroyed. When George realizes who she is, he hires her immediately, telling her that with Wade Industries resources at her disposal, the things she could do would be unlimited. From that point, George wants Lucy’s opinion on everything, from choosing stationery to picking out his clothes for special occasions. When Lucy gets pulled out of her best friend’s wedding to take care of one of George’s “emergencies”, she finds out it is something trivial, and decides she has had enough of his childish behavior, and is sick of being this spoiled, rich, brat of a man’s nanny, because that is what she has become. She gives him her two weeks notice, and then he makes her job hunting impossible by telling all the law firms in NYC that he cannot run his business without her. George is a man on a mission, but Lucy can never really figure out what that mission is.
Throughout the movie,we see these two coming to compromises, and finding a balance between rich and poor, liberal and conservative, childishness and maturity, together all the time, and even joined at the hip without coming to terms with the sexual tension between them, which is what makes for a great romantic comedy. Also adding to the fun are Dana Ivey and Richard Klein, as Lucy’s ex-hippie parents, Heather Burns as Lucy’s best friend and fellow protestor. On the Wade side, David Haig is George’s stuffy, all business brother, Howard, and Charlotte Maier is Howard’s cold wife. Add in the fiery, fun Alicia Witt as Lucy’s replacement lawyer, June, and the balance is so perfect, it’s practically Taoist.
This is the perfect fun date movie, and even if you have been married for 20 years or more, watch it again for this Valentine’s Day, or any other day. It’s the kind of movie you will come back to over and over again.
I give this film a Musing review of