Friday, July 5, 2013

Movie Review: Two Weeks Notice

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Lead actors and the characters they bring to life
Cons: Story is too fragmented to serve them well
The Bottom Line
Wandering story
Undercut great characters
For average film




"Consider This My Two Week Notice."

Romantic comedies are one of my secret loves.  When done well, they leave me with a huge smile on my face.  Sadly, they can be very hit or miss, and Two Weeks Notice certainly didn't live up to its potential.

Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) is an attorney who is trying to keep her neighborhood in New York City from being torn down and taken over by huge, soulless hotel complexes.  When she goes to plead her case personally to George Wade (Hugh Grant), the owner of the chain, she is surprised to find herself offered a job as his general counsel.  She accepts on the condition that he will build in other neighborhoods.

A year later, Lucy is fed up with constantly being on call and being expected to advise him on everything, including his clothes.  So she quits.  George, realizing he doesn't want Lucy out of his life, begins to look for any excuse to keep her from leaving.  What might the two of them realize?

Really, I feel like the movie needed another pass or two on the draft before it was filmed.  There are so many story threads that are started and dropped only to be picked up again that it feels disjointed.

On the plus side, this movie is filled with some pretty fun banter between the leads.  I had to laugh at several of their exchanges.

And the characters are genuinely fun to be around.  George is a rich playboy, but he is likeable, and Lucy is easy to identify with right from the start.  Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant do great bringing their characters to life, and the rest of the cast is great at backing them up.

However, the movie definitely believes that a some clever banter is enough to let us know the characters love each other.  I have a hard time with that in some of the classic movies of the genre from the black and white era, and I have just as much trouble with it now.  As a result, the ending seems forced and a bit anti-climatic instead of the emotionally satisfying one I was expecting.

Yet there is something about this movie that makes it work despite the flaws.  I think it's the leads and the characters they bring to life.  I know I'm repeating myself, but they are fun to spend time around.

So Two Weeks Notice winds up being average since the leads manage to raise it above the weak source material.

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