Review: Two Weeks Notice

by Jake Sproul

Rating: (out of )

This movie is the first sneak preview I have ever attended. I must admit, I was pretty excited when I scored tickets to the sneak. However, I was even more excited to get home, after the show had ended, to write the review for this fantastic movie.

As far as romantic comedies, go, this one is pretty generic. It even closely resembles Pretty Woman (ironically, as does another recent romantic comedy, Maid in Manhattan). However, its the comedy, and chemistry that makes this movie the success that it is. In fact, I donít think I have seen a romantic comedy in the last year that even rivals this movie in terms of entertainment value and bang for your ever-more-important buck.

Lucy Kelson is your run of the mill environmentalist democrat (groan...), and her current foe is Wade Enterprises. A monopolistic building corporation, that isnít afraid to tear down a few historic buildings if it means huge profit. And Lucy takes issue with this. In her efforts to save a historic Brooklyn recreational center, she petitions to George Wade himself...

...George Wade, public face, and for all practical purposes, CEO of Wade Enterprises is looking for a new chief counsel. And low and behold, he runs across Lucy. George is a womanizing, charismatic, suave man who has plowed through (no pun intended) his last few woman chief counsels, and is immediately intrigued when he finds out Lucy is a Harvard Law School grade...and beautiful. George offers Lucy the job as his new chief counsel.

Under the condition that the Brooklyn Recreational Center wonít be torn down to make way for GeorgeĎs new skyscraper apartment complex, she accepts the job. However, George is no ordinary boss. He is constantly asking Lucyís opinion on various mundane choices, and even pulls here out of a wedding to help him choose a shirt. That is the last straw for Lucy, who tenders her resignation, and gives her two weeks notice. It is within these last two weeks that George and Lucy realize they are made for each other.

A tricky, and sometimes fatal task a romantic comedy must complete is the manner the characters evolve their feelings for each other, and how to present this to the audience. Two Weeks Notice has come up with a clever, and dare I say, inspired idea. The romance is presented in a tantalizing back and forth fashion, that makes the audience members squirm in their seats, smitten. Throughout the movie, we get glimmers of love from each of the two parties, but never at the same time, until the final climactic scene. I really enjoyed this refreshing take on the old romantic comedy formula.

While sitting in the theater, observing this movie, one may think you are in a Woody Allen movie, because the zingers never stop. Two Weeks Notice really puts the comedy, back into romantic comedy. Sometimes the zingers are aimed at the opposite party, and sometimes at themselves. And rarely do one of these punch lines miss. The most impressive part, is the film tries to stray away from typical sex humor or bathroom humor. Of course, Two Weeks Notice has a brief fall from grace in each of these categories, however, that can be forgiven due to the general level of comedy possessed within this movie.

The fantastic level of comedy can be attributed to Hugh Grant. While Sandra Bullock isnít terrible, its obvious that Hugh Grant is the more experienced, and successful comedian. I donít think I have seen Hugh Grant this funny in his entire stint as a romantic comedy male lead. He was very humorous in Bridget Jonesís Diary, but I think its safe to say that Hughís role/performance/delivery of comedy in Two Weeks Notice trumps (Donald Trump has a cameo, by the way) that of Bridget Jonesís Diary.

In regards to the chemistry, and overall acting performances turned it, I was quite impressed. As I have already elaborated on above, Hugh Grant is amazing as the selfish George Wade. Also, I was surprised on the amount of chemistry Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock have. I have never been a fan of Sandra Bullockís (I find her way to abrasive for my palate), but she was the perfect casting choice for Lucy Kelson. Her acting is obviously inferior compared to that or Mr. Grantís, but she is not at all incompetant. I even feel that the pairing of Bullock and Grant is a far better than the pairing of Grant and Julia Roberts in another Hugh Grant romantic comedy, Notting Hill.

On a minor technical note, I would like to comment on the length of the movie. At 100 minutes, it runs a little long, and I noticed some scenes that could easily have been cut. Including a very gross motor home sequence.

I would like to, at this time, interject a brief rant about the filmís marketing. As I am sure you have already seen the filmís poster (a small picture is at the top of this page, in case you missed in in your hast to read my review), you will agree with me in saying that it is maybe the worst movie poster in some time. And whatís worse is the fact that the poster pretty much sums up the entire marketing campaign for Two Weeks Notice...horrible. The previews are bad, the poster is gross, the tagline makes no sense once you have seen the movie, and the filmís release date is obviously a no-confidence vote, which makes no sense considering the entertainment value of the movie. (Warner Bros. decided to release this movie at the same time the second Lord of the Rings, and the long in production, Martin Scorcesse picture, Gangs of New York.)

Two Weeks Notice is great entertainment. Like, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Two Weeks Notice has taken a used plot, and turns it into a wonderfully fun film. While far from cinema, Two Weeks Notice is a picture worthy of Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullockís resumes, a better advertising campaign, and perhaps, my top 10 list of 2002...

© 2002 Jacob Sproul

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