David and Natalie: Nice Guy Finishes First
Besides the fact that Hugh Grant is hilarious, can we count all the good points about this romance? Handsome, powerful man falls in love with…slightly chubby but very pretty ordinary girl? Hooray! He even says that he doesn’t think she’s chubby (which she’s not…she’s hot). Handsome, powerful man does NOT use his position and influence to seduce said girl? Hooray! He even sends her away (without firing her…I think?) so that he’s not tempted (take heed, Alan Rickman!). Philandering oily politician acts like an arrogant, sexist pig, which inspires handsome, powerful man with a righteous, love-induced rage to defend his country (and by proxy, his girl)?
Granted, it’s not perfect…Natalie did seem to be a bit cliched, in the “somewhat ditzy cute girl” role…and the focus was quite a bit more on David than on her (but c’mon, he IS the prime minister…)…and some might not appreciate the fact that she didn’t defend herself from the sexual predations of the oily president, instead needing David to do it for her (gotta admit, a slap to Billy Bob Thornton’s greasy mug would have done me good). But that last could be a telling point about workplace harassment in general…Natalie, like a lot of women, probably didn’t feel safe in flatly rejecting the advances of a person with so much more power than her. But even though she didn’t slap him or anything, it’s pretty damn clear she didn’t want him to do what he was doing…and he was doing it anyway. Silence giving consent for Teh Lose.
In general though, I cheered. And that outfit she wore at the end, with her shoulders bare? Classy, but sexy. Hell, I think Natalie is five times hotter than Mia. Here’s to realistic portrayals of attractive women, instead of the “scrawny = sexy” mindset.
Colin (and the hot American girls): An Asshole’s Reward
God, I hated this storyline, and wish it had been cut from the movie. It could easily have been, as it adds absolutely nothing (except some cheap laughs, if you like that sort of thing).
When I first saw this, I was watching the scene where Colin’s in the bar in America and just thinking, “any minute now, this will blow up in his face and totally suck”. And then, that never happened. Instead, he apparently had wild sex with 4 hot chicks. And I’m just like, “WTF?”
His friend Tony had it right…Colin is an ugly, annoying, arsehole. This storyline totally plays into the stupid (and offensive, really) mindset of ugly, annoying guys who think, “I’m really God’s best work, and if chicks don’t realize that, they’re just stuck up/lesbians/insert problem here”. And that bugs the crap out of me. Anybody with Colin’s mindset deserves to get shafted…and instead, the storyline rewards him. I hate that.
I always knew it bugged me on some level…but I finally realized it bugged me because it is incredibly offensive…to men, and women. No, American girls aren’t (in general) stupid enough to have crazy orgies with some guy they barely know because of his cute British accent (leaving aside the fact that I think dude is freaking hideous). No, self-confidence is not enough to make up for bad hygeine and lack of personality. No, if you’re having crap luck with women, it’s NOT probably because you’re on the wrong continent. This takes “it’s not me, it’s you” to frightening new levels.
Billy Mack: Nothing to Do With Women, he’s Just Freaking Hilarious
I guess there could be a message about his turning down a fab sex party to go hang with his manager (and not just the latent homosexual one), but in general, this storyline is there because it’s really, really funny. And it succeeds wonderfully.