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Two Weeks Notice (12A)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with director/writer Marc Lawrence, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant; HBO First Look Special (13 mins); Additional scenes (6 mins); Trailer; Interactive menus; Scene access.

HUGH Grant and Sandra Bullock claim to have been waiting five years to make a film together; sadly, the wait has not been worth it.

Two Weeks Notice is an unfunny and predictable affair which strives to recreate the on-screen chemistry of the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy without ever coming close.

Writer-director Marc Lawrence’s movie is designed as a feelgood romantic comedy to rival the best of them, as well as being a picturesque tribute to the city of New York; but while the Big Apple emerges as romantic as ever, the film itself is a lacklustre affair, which misfires from start to finish.

Bullock stars as keen environmentalist and lawyer, Lucy Kelon, who reluctantly agrees to become the new Chief Counsel of Grant’s millionaire, George Wade, when he promises not to demolish her neighbourhood’s community centre if she will do so.

Quickly developing an impeccable reputation, it isn’t long before Lucy is servicing George’s every whim, from divorce settlements to choosing the colour of his tie, and is eventually forced to give two weeks notice in a bid to get her life back together again.

But the move forces the self-centred George to confront his feelings for her and the relationship they have developed, prompting the inevitable countdown to the moment they realise they are both in love.

Lawrence’s movie is the type which, on the surface, looks like a sure thing. Grant has a proven track record of successful rom-coms, as does Bullock, while the story bears all the hallmarks of the classic ‘opposites attract’ scenario.

It is all the more disappointing, therefore, that proceedings fail to click. Bullock, especially, must shoulder a lot of the blame, taking her trademark kookiness to new extremes and becoming quite irritating as a result, while Grant seems unsure whether to stick to his newfound cad image (which helped to make Bridget Jones and About A Boy so enjoyable), or to mix in a little of the foppish charm of Four Weddings and a Funeral, and comes over a little confused as a result.

But then Lawrence’s drab script offers nothing for the cast to work with and contains very few laughs throughout, desperately relying on formulaic plot twists and the chemistry between its two stars.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, when George is forced to announce his feelings for Lucy in front of an office full of legal aid lawyers (in a scene ripped straight out of Jerry Maguire), while the couple’s big moment of realisation comes during a toilet rush. It appears creativity has hit the fan.

Fans of the Big Apple may derive some satisfaction from the numerous shots of the city which help to break up proceedings, but all in all, this is one New York-based affair to forget.

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