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A lawyer decides that she's used too much like a nanny by her boss, so she walks out on him.
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I can hear the pitch meeting now. "Donald Trump vs liberal idealistic female lawyer = love story"
Two Weeks Notice is a film that went over my radar when it came out in 2002. I didn't even know this movie existed until I saw it playing on TV recently. I guess on paper it's a conventional love story where two people spend a lot of time together (and we watch them for 100 minutes) and not until the end do they realize that they are in love. Until we get to that point we watch to see HOW they fell in love and WHY. And if the audience doesn't like how they answered those two questions, then we don't like the film very much. And if they do, then they enjoy the film.
Romance comedies with this storytelling formula are like murder mysteries. You see the murder in the opening spot and then watch to see how they capture the killer. Because we know a killer will be found, just like we know a couple will fall in love. We watch to be entertained and to see how it happened.
Writer/Director Marc Lawrence's claim to fame was when he wrote for Family Ties, the monster 1980s TV sitcom. There is a similar storyline where the shows main character, Alex P Keaton (Michael J Fox) the an business major arch-conservative money lover with a lovable charm, falls in love with a liberal arts major and a hard leftist. That story on the show latest a long time as the writers and actors really had a lot of fun with the opposites attract angle (the actors playing the roles actually fell in love in real life and married). How does a couple coexist even though their true values are different? Can it really work?
So Two Weeks Notice is just another version of that storyline on Family Ties, minus one major problem. Hugh Grant's character really doesn't know who is really is. He's pushed and pulled by his brother and just does what works for him. He understands that he has certain gifts, but doesn't really understand what they mean. Sandra Bullock's character is the opposite. She knows exactly who she is but also sees that she has some personal issues that Grant's character will help her out with. Bullock's character will teach Grant's character how to be a man, but that storyline is a little creepy because she's really playing his mom and not something he'll eventually sleep with.
In Family Ties, Alex P Keaton isn't a mamma's boy and doesn't date the liberal so someone can take care of him. He's smitten with her because she has conviction and stands up for her beliefs. And she likes him for the same reason. They were both characters too who will eventually talk about their insecurities and fears (always in the final scene of the episode in the family kitchen), so that was another quality they both possessed.
Two Weeks Notice is an unbalanced film because Bullock's character is a person who has conviction but she falls for someone who doesn't. He just happens to be good-looking and rich, two qualities that seem to really work for people in today's world. But he is a lost soul. I'm very curious why Marc Lawrence chose this angle, especially someone who is a builder of tall buildings. That job alone oozes a person who stands up tall and is full of confidence. Why didn't he just give us another Alex P Keaton? Hugh Grant can play that type in his sleep.
Hugh Grant was born to play the role he plays in Two Weeks Notice. The charming rich guy with a good sense of humor. We like him even despite being born with a silver spoon and really never having any true major conflict in his life. He's lovable and not just because he's English. And why does he speak with an English accent? His brother doesn't and he lives in New York City. This make no sense at all. Did Grant attempt at an American accent and just say fuck it, it's not going to work? Or is Grant just so lovable we really don't care what accent he speaks?
And this was a role that Sandra Bullock is extremely good at doing. The obsessed workaholic who is good at what she does but is still living in a man's world. She has played this type of character in many films, mainly because it's making a social statement to our current world. And I'm sure Bullock is very aware of this. These roles are important in movies in today's world. The only problem in a romantic comedy setting is that she will eventually fall for someone who doesn't deserve her. And that's what happened in Two Weeks Notice.
I enjoyed the film but it's not something that needs a second viewing.