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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Two Weeks Notice
Two Weeks Notice
Warner Bros. // PG-13 // April 29, 2003
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 23, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:


It's difficult to write a review of "Two Weeks Notice", although largely because I've written this review countless times before. This would be another romantic comedy about two very different characters from very different backgrounds who hate each other, get in a fight, and then just when they're about to fall in love, they're forced apart by a plot development (one character finding out that a bet was part of the situation is popular lately) before coming together in the last few minutes.

This being a Sandra Bullock movie, you can expect the expected. This being a movie co-starring Hugh Grant, things are at least livened up a bit. I have nothing against Sandra Bullock, in fact I like her quite a bit; however, I've seen nothing different from her. On the other hand, Grant's performance in "About A Boy" took a familiar character of his and added impressive depth.

Bullock plays Lucy Kelson, a liberal lawyer who spends her days not in court, it seems, but out on the street protesting the destruction of important community buildings. The one behind much of the destruction is George Wade (Grant), a developer who has made his fortune rebuilding communities. When she confronts him on the street, he hires her as his chief counsel. She thinks that she can do more good working inside the corporation than out. While she becomes deeply important to his day-to-day functions, she gets irritated with the constant calls for things like which suit he should wear and gives her notice of the title.

Despite being handled by frequent Bullock associate Marc Lawrence (writer of the pleasant-enough "Miss Congeniality" and disaster "Forces of Nature", both starring the actress), an odd thing happens: Bullock is not only uninvolving and not her likable self here, she's overshadowed by Grant, plain-and-simple. Grant, though seemingly aware of how thin the material is, shows that his timing has only improved with age. Despite already being in the trailer, Grant lines like, "I own the hotel and I live there. My life is very much like monopoly." still get a laugh. However, it's unfortunate that the two stars have little in the way of chemistry. Things go further downhill when June (Alicia Witt, who I've liked a lot elsewhere) becomes Lucy's replacement, and tries to start something of her own with Wade. Lucy predictably turns jealous, but it only felt forced to me, simply because the two have so little chemistry in the first place.

Lawrence, making his feature debut, has decided to play things safe and predictable, picking (largely) elevator music as a soundtrack and not making much use of brilliant cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs (see "My Best Friend's Wedding" for great work from the cinematographer). Lawrence's screenplay isn't much better, making bits out of Lucy getting her hair stuck in the zipper of Wade's pants and another bit late in the picture where Lucy has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a traffic jam (Lawrence actually plays "Taking Care of Business" on the soundtrack).

Not very good and not a total loss, "Two Weeks Notice" simply just is - an inconsistently paced and unoriginal movie that really only manages to be as watchable as it is thanks to Grant's way of taking several lines so-so dialogue and making them at least worthy of a mild laugh.


The DVD


VIDEO: "Two Weeks Notice" is presented by Warner Brothers in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Shot plainly, there's really not much of a visual style present here. However, Warner Brothers has handled the material well, and the transfer largely looks good. Sharpness and detail (even fine detail) are solid. Edge enhancement is only slightly visible on a couple of occasions.

No compression artifacts were visible, nor were there any distracting print flaws. Although the picture doesn't have a particularly lively color palette, occasional hints of brighter colors are presented well, with very nice saturation. Black level remained solid, while flesh tones were accurate.


SOUND: "Two Weeks Notice" is presented by Warner Brothers in Dolby Digital 5.1. The soundtrack is simply of the "comedy" variety, focusing simply on the dialogue and - unfortunately, in this case - the score. The front speakers do all the work, leaving the surrounds without even any ambience to provide. Dialogue remains crisp and clear throughout.

EXTRAS:

Commentary: The DVD includes a commentary from director Marc Lawrence, actress Sandra Bullock and actor Hugh Grant. It's strange that Grant and Bullock have little chemistry in the movie, yet they're great together in interviews and play off each other superbly in this commentary track. Bullock and Lawrence were very funny on the commentary for "Miss Congeniality" and they're very entertaining again here, aided by the terrific presence of Grant. Grant, who has never been in a commentary before, takes to it quite well, finding something in nearly every scene to joke about and occasionally, playing interviewer to Lawrence. While there's nothing particularly informative about the movie here, the commentary is thankfully more entertaining than the film it's discussing.

Two Bleeps Notice: If this option is turned on, a heart icon appears occasionally throughout the film. Click on it and you'll be taken to some outtakes from the film before being brought back to the movie. It's an odd way to present some brief outtakes - it would have been better to simply put them on their own in the special features section.

Also: Promotional documentary, trailer, a couple of deleted scenes (including a wedding scene and another sequence with Heather Burns) and bios.


Final Thoughts: Disappointing. This is the first time when I've not liked Bullock, but thankfully, Grant at least somewhat saves the picture. The DVD offers some good supplements, as well as fine audio/video. Maybe worth considering as a rental.

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