Continuing our series of writers defending unpopular films is a reappraisal of the absurd yet compelling Jennifer Lopez/Ralph Fiennes romantic comedy

2002 was a bumper year for romcoms. Banking on the commercial safety of a saccharine love story, studios splashed out on everything from the Nick Hornby adaptation About A Boy to Gurinder Chadha’s Hounslow tale Bend It Like Beckham, Sandra Bullock facing off against corporate shill Hugh Grant in Two Weeks Notice, matrimonial romp My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Reese Witherspoon’s nostalgic Sweet Home Alabama, to name just a few titles.

This was a golden age for will-they-won’t-they tales set to the backdrop of the new millennium, burgeoning digital literacy and predictable scripts that ensured that they, in fact, always did. Nestled amongst these releases was a critically derided, commercially dominating cultural relic: Maid In Manhattan.

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