10 Things I Hate About Hugh
1) I’m going to describe a movie, and you guess whether it stars Hugh Grant, Ashton Kutcher, or Matthew McConaughey. A man with an interesting profession meets a woman who’s initially unattracted to him and spurns his advances. After a series of coincidences, they become moderately fond of each other. They kiss, one of them reveals something shocking that upsets the bond they finally forged, they separate for a period of time, and they both realize at about the same time how unhappy they are. He races to catch her before she does something drastic, and they fall in love and live happily ever after. What? You can’t guess who the lead actor is? It’s ALL of them? In fact, I just described every romantic comedy ever and there’s no reason to watch another one again because you’ll know how it ends? Dammit, Hugh Grant. You’ve ruined 45% of the movies that are coming out this year for me.
2) I’m attracted to people who are disproportionately better-looking than me, and it never works out for me the way it works for Hugh. In “Notting Hill”, an ostensibly plain travel bookstore owner’s wife leaves him for a man who looks exactly like Harrison Ford, but he ends up with a woman who is movie star-gorgeous, probably because she’s a movie star. Does this work in real life? No it does not. I think I’m a solid six (in the right light) on the scale of attractiveness and no matter how charming I am or how much I bat my eyes, I very rarely attract anyone higher than a seven, and when I do, I immediately start to develop conspiracy theories.
3) I tend to fall for people who are my polar opposite. This happens in pretty much every Hugh Grant movie, but it’s never worked out for me. I consistently date goofy people so I can be the uptight, fun-hating straight woman. I’ve even dated athletes just because I wear glasses and like science. Secretly, I think some part of me falls for these guys because it’s imagining the endearing shenanigans we could have together. That never happens. Mostly they say things like, “I’m gonna go play football”, and I respond with things like, “Is that the one with the helmets?”
4) Girls are always looking for the one insurmountable obstacle in their relationships that will prove their significant other truly loves them, and they’ll make one up if they can’t find it. Hugh’s characters usually find the perfect person within minutes of a movie’s start, but then something pulls them apart (Alec Baldwin, an ocean, the U.S. president, Wyoming, etc.), and the two of them must work through a series of hilarious yet heartbreaking misunderstandings to come together after one of them makes a sweeping romantic gesture. Girls are suckers for that kind of thing, and most guys would never think to do it. If the U.S. President created a schism between a guy and the girl with whom he’s flirting, most of them would let that one go.
5) On the flip side of that, if I find a giant, insurmountable obstacle (Alec Baldwin, an ocean, the President, or Wyoming), I don’t get frustrated and quit pursuing someone. Rather than interpreting it as a sign from on high that things are not meant to be, I instead decide that it’s just the goofy hurdle we’ll overcome on the way to quirky love. When a guy I’m interested in says, “I have a girlfriend”, I hear, “I have a challenge for you and I think you should fight it by stalking me and/or making stupid girly faces in my general direction.”
6) Here’s a confession: I’m a klutz. I can blame it on my inner ear as much as possible, but there’s really no avoiding the fact. Because I’m less-than-graceful, I spend a lot of time running into walls, doors, and people. Every time I run into someone moderately attractive, I spend the next five minutes or so fantasizing about our future together (usually in a montage of them handing me large amounts of delicious food.) This behavior is CRAZY. Not fun, quirky crazy, either. CRAZY PERSON CRAZY. They could be awful, terrible people who beat their family members up and spit on dogs and hate The Princess Bride. It’s entirely possible that the people I’m blushing over are the scum of the earth, but Hugh Grant has given me false hope that maybe they aren’t and that our chance encounter is the beginning of a beautiful more-than-friendship.
7) I get mad when the arguments I have with my boyfriends aren’t clever enough. I want them to be sarcastic and witty and full of barbs that will eventually leave me dead inside, but are pretty funny and only half serious in the short term. I will try to rescue arguments from their boring fates by inserting phrases that I think someone in a movie would say. Since I’m saying fake things anyway, I start acting the way someone in a Hugh Grant movie would act when saying those things. Then suddenly I’m so focused on what to say next and how much fake drama to inject it with that I’ve totally removed myself from the argument and I’m pretty much only talking to appease the other person long enough that they’ll shut up. Ugh. The more I talk about this, the more I sound like I have weird dissociative issues. THANKS, HUGH GRANT.
8 ) Even if I did manage to have a semi-normal relationship, how could I compare it to anyone’s? Every girl I know does this fake romantic comedy thing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys do, too. My parents appear to like each other, my grandparents at least tolerate each other, and my best friends’ parents used to gross us out with their smooching. A smart person would use one of these successful relationships as a model. Instead, I picked Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock in “Two Weeks Notice” because they charmed me for an hour and a half. We’re all doing this, though. I’m Holden Caulfield, and we’re all a bunch of phonies.
9) I’ve never met anyone who can fill a sweater like Hugh Grant, and it’s unlikely that I ever will. I resent him for his floppy hair and blue eyes and stupid accent. I hate him because I don’t hate him even a little when he’s trying to win back Drew Barrymore, or Andie MacDowell, or Julia Roberts. He’s supposed to be a cynical bastard in real life, which actually makes me like him more, but I’m sick of crushing on fake Hugh Grant. In fact, there’s a word for his fake self. I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, which is both the scariest and funniest website in the world. The word is manicorn. And the definition is this:
A mythical male creature who is successful (read: pursuing his passion and can pay his electric bills/rent), funny, chivalrous, masculine (read: not chauvinistic), adventurous, artistic (read: not suicidal).
10) I’ve told several people that my life is like a really slowed down version of a romantic comedy, and I’m inclined to believe that it is. Right now, I’m in the montage of awful dates with Mr. Wrong. Look! There I am accidentally throwing chopsticks at a waiter! There’s me trying to discreetly pull a pile of wet noodles out of my purse! Here I am telling a guy how much I like office supplies! In short, my romantic adventures have been nothing short of train wrecks, and yet thanks to stupid Hugh Grant, I still believe that there is a Mr. Right, or at least a Mr. I-Can-Settle out there. Some part of me hopes that he has floppy hair, blue eyes, and a stupid accent.
** I stole my card trick in the video from “Love Actually”. If cute things don’t make you want to vomit, you can see the real clip here.