Two Weeks Notice (2002) (DVD)
Starring Alicia Witt et al
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Steve, . 6 June 2003
TWO WEEKS NOTICE
A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): ***
Some actors have so much charisma that you'd be happy to listen to them reading the phone book. Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are two such likeable actors. In TWO WEEKS NOTICE, written and directed by Marc Lawrence, MISS CONGENIALITY's writer, these two stars don't read books. Instead, they play coworkers who argue charmingly and are rather like an old married couple who share each other's food and seek each other's advice. The movie isn't anywhere near either star's best work, but it is a serviceable comedy with jokes that hit more often than miss.
George Wade (Grant) is a wealthy building magnet in the Donald Trump mold. Trump even has a cameo in the movie in order, one supposes, to drive home the point. Although George has had his face plastered across the covers of GQ and Fortune, he is actually a clueless guy whose fortune might be lost to his string of ex's. Since "having to share a helicopter with another family" is his definition of poverty, it's hard to feel sorry for him.
In contrast, Lucy Kelson (Bullock) comes from an old-line liberal family, who are happiest when they've been thrown in jail to protest the cause de jour. Lucy is currently trying to stop George's company from destroying a local community center in order to put up a high rise.
In the plot's most improbable moment, George ends up hiring Lucy to be his firm's chief counsel, a position for which she ends up working relentlessly. She is his first decent lawyer, since he hired all of the others solely on their sex appeal. "You need someone who can write a brief instead of removing yours," one of his workers advises George before he hires Lucy.
In addition to Lucy's legal skills, George quickly comes to rely on her for decisions on everything from the right personal stationary to the best suit choice. Day and night, she ends up being at his beck and call. Neither will admit the intimacy of their bond. After all, Lucy still has a boyfriend, and George is actively dating every young thing that passes by. We, of course, realize that they are made for each other. The beauty of the script is how long it keeps them from figuring it out.
Several scenes are precious but none more so that the time that they get stuck in heavy traffic on a rainy highway. Bullock gives a dead-on impression of someone who really, really needs to go to the bathroom. Since the company helicopter isn't nearby, George improvises imaginatively and cutely after he spots a RV in an adjacent lane.
You have to give it to Sandra Bullock, since she had to wear clothes so dowdy and dull that they might be called office camouflage. Full of putrid colors and awful plaids, her outfits show her in what might charitably be called a less than flattering light. But you can't stop a trooper like Bullock. Her charm always shows through, even when Grant keeps stealing their scenes. Grant has one bad hair day after another, but manages to look terrific nonetheless. Let's hope we can see them again but next time with a more consistently funny script.
TWO WEEKS NOTICE runs 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for "some sex-related humor" and would be acceptable for kids around 8 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it ***, saying that it was funny and it reminded him a bit of NOTTING HILL.
Region 2 - Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories.