Two Weeks Notice (2002) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language
Running Time: 92 min.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Alicia Witt, Robert Klein, Dorian Missick
Director: Marc Lawrence
Screenplay: Marc Lawrence
Review published December 22, 2002
Two Weeks Notice is a romantic comedy cut in half. As a comedy, it is actually quite funny, much more so than the other notable genre flick, Maid in Manhattan, and also has stars with much more appeal. It's as slick as they come, touching every base that has become a staple of these sorts of films, so much so that I could have told you everything you were likely to see in the film before seeing it, and would not have been wrong in the slightest. However, as well-oiled a machine as it may be, as a romance, it's a complete failure.
Bullock (The Prince of Egypt, 28 Days) plays Lucy Kelson, a Harvard law school graduate and attorney for liberal causes. Her latest cause is to protest on site at old buildings which are being demolished by big corporations to put up more industrial complexes. Grant (About a Boy, Bridget Jones's Diary) plays George Wade, a notorious womanizer and owner of one of the companies that Kelson frequently protests. Needing a better public image, Kelson is hired on as the company attorney, on the condition that she be allowed to use their charity money for causes she deems worthy. Although she detests the company, it's admittedly better than fighting on the losing end, and a way for her to do at least some good. She's as smart as whip, and in no time George begins to depend on her for just about every decision she makes, and Lucy feels like she's suffocating in her role as assistant. She gives her two weeks notice, but Wade is reluctant to let her go -- until a young and cute new attorney (Witt, Urban Legend) shows up at his door.
Fans of Bullock will be as pleased as ever, which is no surprise since this vehicle was made specifically for her. Bullock produced the film, which is written and directed by Marc Lawrence, who also wrote two of Bullock's previous films, Forces of Nature and Miss Congeniality. It's his first time directing a feature film, but Bullock and Grant know this type of movie so well, they probably didn't need much direction other than for a person to tell them when the camera was rolling film. We like Bullock and Grant in these kinds of roles, as they are written for characters that are pleasant, charming and funny, qualities which the two leads exude so well.
Going into this, we obviously would like nothing more than for Grant and Bullock to find love in the end, but the film completely ignores the fact that heart-of-gold Lucy deserves a much better mate. Wade is seen as nothing more than a charming, but relatively uncaring rich prick, who goes to bed with every skirt that comes his way. There is a theme running through the film about people's abilities to change, but I'm afraid it all rings hollow when this change eventually does occur. There is absolutely no reason to believe Wade would ever be faithful, and having never been romantic together, it's extremely farfetched to believe they would ever have reached the love phase. However, there is a need for a happy ending, and they are determined to cram one in there at any cost, regardless of whether or not a relationship exists.
Like Maid in Manhattan, it fits the bill for those in need of a date flick, and as dumb as the plot is, there are some good chuckles here and there. You know what you're getting in this very generic and instantly forgettable romantic comedy, but Bullock and Grant deliver the charm, so their fans won't come away disappointed. If you're looking for some good laughs and a pleasant time, Two Weeks Notice might be worth your while. If you want a good romance, you'd better bring your significant other along, because the only moments of love you're going to get are the ones you make yourselves.
©2002 Vince Leo