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Two Weeks Notice

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Two Weeks Notice

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant
Director: Marc Lawrence
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: December 2002
Genres: Comedy, Romance

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1.  Harvey Karten review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Harvey Karten
1½ stars out of 4

"Two Weeks Notice" is not only a conspiracy against the apostrophe: it is a formidable plot against the genre of witty, original and entertaining romantic comedy. Formulaic as most others of the category in that the two people in love are kept psychologically, if not physically apart until their inevitable union at the conclusion, "Two Weeks Notice" is insipid enough that it depends on Sandra Bullock's signature pratfalls to arouse (embarrassed) audience laughter. Filmed in New York City, with a considerable number of shots in my own borough of Brooklyn, Marc Lawrence's film gives the Big Apple a rancid taste.

Given that the script is by Marc Lawrence, we'd not expect too much of this feature. After all Mr. Lawrence's "Miss Congeniality" was thoroughly predictable, though Michael Caine did what he could to save the film from its disappointing script; and "Forces of Nature" was likewise a threadbare story despite the presence of Ms. Bullock and the excellent Ben Affleck.

Not even Hugh Grant can afford the film some class since, after all (if I might borrow from critic David Thomson's article about the forty-year-old Londoner in "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film"), "That Hugh Grant gets away with it attests to the special American sentimentality for soft toffee in Brits...his successful romantic comedies all give up the ghost before they're over, as if succumbing to the itchy mannerisms that pass for acting in Grant."

Directed with a sledgehammer hand by Marc Lawrence, whose script includes one embarrassing toilet scene that could have been copied from the various adolescent comedies of late and a few pratfalls by Ms. Bullock, "Two Weeks Notice" is your standard anti-rich, anti-corporation story. Hugh Grant inhabits the role of George Wade, who together with his brother runs a successful corporate law practice that caters to real estate developers. When he hires the quirky, liberal Harvard Law graduate Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock), sparks flow in opposite directions. Both repress their mutual attraction while at the same time they argue politics throughout their relationship. She is opposed to the tearing down of a community center in Coney Island to make way for a condo development while he believes that the continued existence of the little building will cut into corporate profits.

Who do you think will win? Will Wade persuade Legal-Aid-ish Kelson that developers have a right to tear down community centers in the interest of profits? Will Lucy persuade George that profits must take a back-seat to the needs of the small people? If you don't know the answer to this, see the movie. You'll enjoy. If you do know the answer and still pay your bucks to see Wade keeping up his reputation as a playboy with the female lawyers on his staff, such as the upwardly mobile June Carter (Alicia Kitt) while Kelson looks in horror at the amoral doings of the middle- aged man-about-town, this could also be your kind of movie. Be forewarned.

Copyright 2002 Harvey Karten

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