Maid in Manhattan

Year: 2002
Production Co: Revolution Studios
Director: Wayne Wang
Writer: Edmund Dantés/Kevin Wade
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Richardson, Amy Sedaris, Bob Hoskins

An almost exact carbon copy of the recent sausage-factory rom com Two Weeks Notice. There's a rich powerful leading man who becomes smitten with the blue collar class, headstrong woman with just enough 'issues' to make her cute, her made into a 'real' woman by having the chance to dress in a ballgown and play princess - the cheesy elements are all there. Even the ever-insidious product placement runs predictably rampant (the phrase 'Google it' used in the first five minutes of the movie).

I'm all for romance but the sort of stuff Hollywood churns out in the genre is enough not only to make you hurl but upset your feminist sensibilities even if you're a bricklayer and bikie. When a love story comes out of the American studio system that doesn't subscribe to pre-packaged gender identities or make those identities the basis for all the gender tension that drives the 'story', but instead shows two intelligent people fall in love with honesty and drama (and I'm also not against a little humour so I'm not anti rom-com), then I'll take notice.

What separates this story from the endlessly rehashed Cinderella basis? The usual cosmetic backgrounds - she's a maid in a swanky hotel, he thinks she's a guest and she tries to hide it, the kid and the dog rescue everything. The usual crap, in other words.

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