I Failed to Notice Why This Film Was Made (Vday Massacre W/O)
Feb 20, 2004
Pros: Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are both cute, parents
Cons: predictable, boring, lame love triangle
The Bottom Line: The billionaire with the British accent always gets the girl.
If I were really paranoid, I might think that Two Weeks Notice was Republican propaganda.
Bland, formulaic, and predictable, to put it mildly, Two Weeks Notice is the story of a well-meaning lawyer named Lucy (Sandra Bullock) who decides to work for the enemy, the Donald Trump-esque George Wade (Hugh Grant). Even though George Wade is a slimy businessman who only cares about money, the hippy-ish Lucy falls for him. Wade's giant corporation has wrecking balls with huge Ws on them. So, the moral of this movie is: liberal working girls should just fall in love with George W. and be happy!
OK, it's not quite that simple...
Hollywood seems unable to believe that single women can be happy with a career and no man. Lucy is a typical romantic comedy singleton-- a love-impaired working woman. Two Weeks Notice relies on so many rom-com conventions that it could be used to teach a Hollywood screenwriting course. It's only 101 minutes long, but it uses so many clichés that I got bored after about 20 minutes.
Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, Two Weeks Notice feels lazy and completely unoriginal. Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant play the same characters they always do: a quirky, girl nextdoor type and a charming, somewhat bumbling cad, respectively. We are also presented with the utterly bland concept of opposites attracting and two people who initially hate each other falling in love. (Host simply_crispy wrote his entry for this write-off on the abysmal You've Got Mail, which also illustrates these traditions.
Furthermore, the premise makes no sense. Lucy meets George when she lies down on the pavement to protest his demolishing of a historic theater in favor of a giant, luxury hotel. In the midst of the protest, Lucy's friends decide to get married. The building is knocked down, and Lucy is left defeated and alone. Not giving up hope, Lucy storms over to George's office to try to prevent him from tearing down another building dear to her heart, a community center in Coney Island. George admires Lucy's tenacity and asks her to work for him. Lucy signs on with the Wade Corporation on one condition: that George preserve the community center.
The viewers are asked to believe that a tycoon like George Wade would hire a liberal environmentalist like Lucy Kelson (with nary an interview or background check, yet!) and that Lucy would agree to work for the enemy.
The cheesy title cards tell us that a good deal of time has passed, and we see a montage of Lucy's job, which becomes more and more trivial by the day. Even though George owns half of Manhattan, he is unable to complete day-to-day tasks like picking out a mattress. When George phones Lucy during her best friend's wedding with an "emergency" that turns out to be that he can't decide which of his hundreds of suits to wear, she finally gets fed up and hands in her (drumroll, please!) two weeks notice.
It's remarkable that this movie could be both ludicrous and mind-numbingly boring. Other romantic comedy standbys that can be found in this film include a love triangle, cat fights, a woman eating Chinese food alone, and a Nora Jones soundtrack. *Yawn*
If you look carefully, there are a few cute details that save this film from being a one-star catastrophe. For one thing, Lucy and her parents are lovable liberals. Lucy's best friend is surprised to see her career-oriented friend crying over a man, and she says that the only other time she has seen Lucy cry was when Bush was elected. "Which one?" Lucy blubbers. "Both," the friend answers.
Lucy's parents (Robert Klein and Dana Ivey) have a relationship with their daughter that seemed realistic and sweet. Hugh Grant also gets a few amusing one-liners, and, I have to admit, I think he's dead sexy.
However, the main problem is that Hugh and Sandra simply have no chemistry. We're supposed to believe that these two characters are in love and can't bear to be apart, but I didn't buy it for a minute. Lucy gets all dolled up for a black tie affair, and we think, "OK, this is the moment when Hugh Grant realizes that he loves her." Poor Sandra Bullock always plays the girl who people grow to love. From beginning to end, it's one hackneyed moment after another, and the two stars seem as bored with it all as the audience does.
This is a pretty decent romantic comedy. Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock create some genuinely funny moments and touching acting. It'll work well for an date with your significant other or if you just want to lift your mood. Unfortunately, like many such films, this film isn't particularly exciting or original. It begins with the characters hating each other, then being forced into a situation where they work closely together, and then near the end of realizing they love each … more
You'd expect a cavalcade of cuteness from any pairing of Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, butTwo Weeks Noticeadmirably avoids the obvious. You get plenty of Bullock's pratfalls and feisty sex appeal, and Grant's snappy comebacks are never in short supply, but first-time writer-director Marc Lawrence (who wrote Bullock's previous hit,Miss Congeniality) adds just enough antagonism to keep this romantic comedy from being a completely foregone conclusion. Neurotic lawyer, environmentalist, and landmark-preservation activist Lucy Kelson (Bullock) is determined to thwart the efforts of billionaire developer and jet-setting playboy George Wade (Grant); of course, fate brings them together and then rips them apart, just as they're beginning to feel the panicky pangs of love. A replacement attorney (Alicia Witt) defies formula by being genuinely sweet, and Lawrence steers clear of the most familiar clichés. It's formulaic anyway, but inTwo Weeks Noticeit's a comforting formula, delivered by stars who thrive within their limitations.--Jeff Shannon