Plot: What’s it about?
It’s been said that romantic comedies, or screwball comedies, might have had their roots back to the 1930’s. With titles like It Happened One Night and Bringing Up Baby paving the way for countless others to follow in their immortal footsteps. Needless to say, the romantic comedy movie has been done and done and done…you get the idea. Still, audiences find it very satisfying when we know that the two leads (usually total opposites) are hopelessly attracted to each other, like Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall and like Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan (who had the market cornered on this particular genre at one time) in When Harry Met Sally. Love is the one thing that most any person on this Earth can relate to and movies about them, comedic or not, are very touching and can get the best of us. With the success of the genre, there’s really no end in sight as people continue to fall in love, even when they don’t know it. So with this latest entry into the screwball comedy market, can Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock pull it off? You bet.
Grant plays industrial tycoon George Wade. A Donald Trump clone (who has a cameo in the film, by the way) who makes his living, along with his brother, by tearing down old parts of New York only to build new condos. Enter Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock), daughter of two lawyers and a graduate of Harvard Law School. Lucy is always trying to make a statement, not motivated by materialistic needs, she has the freedom to do so at her leisure. As fate would have it, George has just let his latest lawyer go and is on the lookout for a new one. After a less than stellar interview session, he literally bumps into Lucy who is trying to convince him not to tear down a local theater near her childhood home. Taken with her, he hires her as his lawyer and all is well. But not for long…Lucy’s brutal honesty is just what George needs and it’s not long that he starts calling on her day and night for advice; ranging from anything from what to wear to what kind of bed to pick out. Naturally, Lucy resents this, but puts up with it because she likes her job and feels that she is accomplishing something. Time passes and it’s about a year later that she’s finally fed up with George’s antics. The title of the film comes into play here and she, you guessed it, turns in her two weeks notice.
The rest of the movie, though predictable, is just as fun as the first half. Lucy interviews a fellow Harvard alumni who gets the job based on her looks (George is a notorious playboy) and one thing leads to another. The company, needing to reverse their decision to not destroy the community theater, is now going to destroy the theater because they need the money. It’s a lot of “been there, done that” when it comes to this sort of movie, but the presence of Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock make this film more than watchable. The closest thing I can compare it to would be My Best Friends Wedding in the sense that we do know what might happen, but the plot is good enough and there is enough verbal and physical humor to keep us laughing all the way through. Marc Lawrence, who not only wrote but directed the movie as well, shows that he is improving at this genre (he also wrote Forces of Nature and the updated version of The Out of Towners). Grant only seems to get better and better with the films he chooses, his mumbling English humor hit a note with me and I think he’s a terribly underrated actor. Again, while we rather know what will happen in the end, getting there is half the fun and Two Weeks Notice showed that it had all the right elements to make a romantic/screwball comedy work.
Video: How does it look?
Two Weeks Notice has been issued by Warner in both widescreen and full-frame versions. Unlike the “old days” when we got both of those on one disc, you must buy both versions to have them here. The widescreen version was reviewed and the solid-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is really hard to beat. The movie, new to DVD, has several bright spots to it, color-wise and other-wise. Fleshtones appear to be right on track and consistent and edge enhancement is barely existent. The movie seemed to possess a sharpness to the picture that we don’t see except in these new DVD’s. Quite frankly, the only thing that keeps this one from being perfect is some minor compression artifacts from time to time. If we had a 4.75/5.00, it would get that score. A great transfer and truly representative of what Warner has consistently been putting out.
Audio: How does it sound?
On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is about average for a romantic comedy. If you really want to crank it up, then some of the soundtrack will fill the room and the speakers might even “bump” a bit; but for the most part the film is dialogue-driven. The surrounds do take charge during some scenes, but nothing that really makes one turn around and say “Wow” (not that we ever do turn around and say “Wow” when a movie sounds really good). The majority of the action takes place on the front speakers with the LFE kicking in from time to time. Two Weeks Notice carries a great and acceptable soundtrack that should please most every viewer.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as the supplemental material goes, there’s just enough to whet the appetite here, but not much else. A screen-specific audio commentary from stars Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock and writer-director Marc Lawrence is just interesting enough to listen to. It’s a light-hearted track that doesn’t exactly offer a lot of information about the movie, but worth listening to if you’re really into the movie. Lawrence talks of his foray into directing and the old seasoned stars (Grant and Bullock) are having a blast on the track. A few “Additional Scenes” are also included, though not really adding that much information to the movie, I can only imagine that there were a lot more of these that could have made this disc. As is nearly the standard with some studios, there is an HBO: First Look – The Making of Two Weeks Notice included. As we might expect, interviews with the stars of the film and the writer-director Marc Lawrence, are included as well as some clips from the film. This is your standard EPK (Electronic Press Kit) featurette here, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Lastly, a feature that hasn’t really caught on is the “Two Bleeps Notice”. This viewing option allows you to watch the film and look at some outtakes and “on set antics”. Naturally the cast had a fun time filming here and this allows you to not only view the film, but get a look inside the making of it as well. If you’re familiar with Infinifilm, then this will be right up your alley. A trailer is also included as are some very brief cast and crew bios. Two Weeks Notice is a fine romantic comedy and the disc is packed with a great transfer and enough supplements to keep fans happy.