Even With Sandra Bullock, “Two Weeks Notice” Becomes Only an Average Romantic Comedy
ght © 2009 Ed Bagley
Two Weeks Notice – 2 Stars (Average)
“Two Weeks Notice” is just a tad too predictable to be a good romantic comedy, so it must take its rightful place as average when placed against other much better efforts such as “Sleepless in Seattle”, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and ” Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
The gist of the story brings exaggerated opposites together. There is Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock), a Harvard law graduate and social activist whose immediate mission in life is to save from destruction of her beloved Coney Island Community Center by George Wade (Hugh Grant), a wealthy developer and womanizer who makes a career out of being self-centered and dominated by his greedy brother Howard Wade (David Haig).
The Wade family has lots of money and a lush lifestyle, but no conscience. Lucy agrees to become George’s chief counsel in exchange for him not tearing down the community center to put in an expensive, profitable development. George becomes totally dependent upon Lucy for all of his decision-making. Lucy finally gets fed up and gives him two weeks notice. You know where the film goes from here.
Two Weeks Notice was written and directed by Marc Lawrence, and therein is the main reason the film is average. Hollywood is littered with writer/directors taking on dual roles and producing average films; there is not enough space to list them here. You can count on one hand the number of writer/directors who can produce great films.
In fairness to Marc Lawrence, he did write two other films—”Miss Congeniality” and “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous”—that helped boost Sandra Bullock’s career.
Compare Two Weeks Notice, released in 2002, to another leading role by Sandra Bullock in “The Proposal”, released in 2009. The Proposal was written by Pete Chiarelli, directed by Anne Fletcher, and had Ryan Reynolds as the male lead; it was a far superior effort.
Hugh Grant has become wearisome as a male lead in a romantic comedy. He has made a career out of projecting an “I am lost”, little boy, vacant look, seeking some mothering to comfort him. It is only one reason why his chances of winning a Best Actor Oscar are slim to none.
Bullock is more than a leading lady. She runs Fortis Films, her own production company, and was the producer of Two Weeks Notice. The movie was originally going to be filmed in Toronto to save production costs, but Bullock insisted upon New York City. This move helped revitalize the New York economy after the infamous terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
Sandra Bullock also produced The Proposal, and ended up with a “good” romantic comedy that could win some awards that Two Weeks Notice did not.
Keep an eye on Sandra Bullock, she has twice been nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe Awards, for “While You Were Sleeping” and “Miss Congeniality”. I believe she will win a Golden Globe, or perhaps even an Oscar, in the not too distant future. Moviegoers like Sandra Bullock, and that is hard to ignore.