Senior HTF Member
- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
Two Weeks Notice
Studio: Warner Brothers
Film Length: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
Over. Done. Finished. A comedy about love
at last glance.
This seems to be an awful time of the year for
quality movie releases on DVD. In fact, after
watching a film like Two Weeks Notice, I
can only thank God for the crop of classic films
I have had the opportunity to review.
Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) is a Harvard educated
lawyer who works at a low income legal aid clinic
in New York. She has inherited her community
activist mindset from her ultra-liberal parents
Ruth (Dana Ivey) and Larry (Robert Klein). As the
film opens, we watch Lucy attempting to stop the
demolition of a landmark building in New York city.
Though Lucy's attempts usually are unsuccessful and
often land her in jail, she still insists on going
up against any real estate corporation that decides
to flatten an existing building to pop up a high rise.
Lucy sets her next protest on wealthy real-estate
tycoon George Wade (Hugh Grant). George is so taken
back by Lucy that he hires her to be his chief
counsel. Liberal Lucy squirms at first at her
new corporate job, but George promises her vast
reserves of cash to funnel into her favorite charities,
as well as the preservation of the threatened Staten
Island Community Center, Lucy's childhood landmark
that is slated for demolition to make way for a Wade
Lucy serves in her capacity as attorney/nursemaid
for the spoiled billionaire, but the requests he
makes keep getting more and more bizarre, as he is
now hopelessly dependent upon her. Eventually Lucy
has had enough and gives her boss "Two Weeks' Notice,"
and sets about finding a replacement for herself.
She hires June Carter (Alicia Witt), who immediately
turns into a vamp with eyes only for the billionaire.
On paper, the pairing of Sandra Bullock and Hugh
Grant must have seemed like a really great idea.
Take one of the most attractive actresses working
in film today and pair her up with cinema's most
adorable British actor and -BAM!- you have a film!
If only filmmaking could be that easy. What has
been obviously missed here is a solid funny script,
some inspired direction, and most of all, chemistry
between Grant and Bullock which only comes at the
end of the film when we are just too tired to care
anymore. It's a shame, because I really began to
like Hugh Grant after his performance in About
A Boy -- but once again he's back to playing
that same old stammering British bobble head role.
The entire movie sometimes feels so forced that it
appears both he and Bullock never seem to genuinely
love being in this film. It certainly also doesn't
help that director/writer Marc Lawrence's pacing is
a bit off and the film really begins to lose steam
throughout its final hour.
On the plus side, this film was shot entirely in
New York, and the flavor of its city can be savored
through its shots of a Shea Stadium game featuring
Mike Piazza of the Mets and even a cameo of THE
real-estate kingpin himself, Donald Trump. Most
recognized here, however, is Bronx boy Robert Klein
whose talents almost seemed wasted in his role as
Sandra Bullock's father.
How is the transfer?
From now on, I need only to say Warner Brothers
to describe how good this film looks. You see, I
have yet to review any recent release that has
been anything less than phenomenal in transfer
quality. This release is no different. The print
is immaculate, with razor-sharp images, vibrant
colors and perfect fleshtones. Blacks are nice and
deep and everything takes on a very smooth and
detailed appearance with narely a hint of grain or
I was disappointed by the film's 5.1 Dolby surround
mix. While I don't expect a film like this to have
an aggressive surround track, I do expect the surround
channels to produce some sort of ambient noise.
Sadly, the rears seem to remain mostly silent
throughout this film. Only twice did I detect any
sort of ambient sound -- applause at a dinner benefit
and the unexpected landing of a helicopter. So let's
forget the rears and talk about the front channels
that provide crisp, detailed audio with excellent
stereo separation and warm dynamic range that
perfectly showcases John Powell's charming score.
First up is the feature-length commentary by
Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant and writer/director Marc
Lawrence. If you are wondering why Hugh's voice
sounds strained, it's because he has just returned
from the Golden Globe awards. The three seem to
be in an incredibly good-natured mood as they begin
joking about the manipulated images of themselves
that pop up during the opening credits. After
that, it sort of becomes a free-for-all as Grant,
Bullock and Lawrence take joking jabs at much of
the on-screen material, as well as turning upon
each other. Nothing here is overly technical,
but we do get to learn about the cool cameos by
the director's family, Hughe's friend, and even
Bullock's dogs. Speaking of dogs, we learn that
Hugh had a very unfortunate reaction to eating
some of NYC's finest street-corner water dogs.
Nothing serious here, not much to be learned, but
the cast is certainly enjoying themselves. To
think Hugh thought nobody would listen to this
Something I wish I had known about before watching
the film all the way through the first time -- Two
Bleeps Notice is an option you turn on that
enables you to watch extended outtake footage
whenever a pink heart appears on your screen. I
did some searching around and found one right at
the start of chapter 8. By clicking on the
heart icon I was taken to a non-anamorphic screen
that showed a fairly funny clip of Hugh throwing
out insane swears as he blows his lines. Be smarter
than I was -- check this area first before
you watch the film.
The making of documentary never rises
up above the standard promotional fare. Here we
have Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Dana Ivey, Alicia
Witt and director Marc Lawrence who talk about
the film's story, while complimenting each other's
talents. You know the drill by now. Lots of film
clips here and a few minor peeks from behind the
camera...but really...nothing gained here.
(length: approx. 13 minutes)
There are two deleted scenes presented here.
The first was quite startling as it looks to be
the film's extended ending that gives us a sweeter
conclusion to George and Lucy's love for each other.
(Hint: Here comes the bride!). Next, Lucy and
her sister Merryl jog in Central Park as Lucy
confesses her love for George.
(length: approx, 6 minutes)
A cast and crew page gives filmographies
that are limited to the film's 4 major players as
well as writer/director Marc Lawrence.
We also have the inclusion of the film's original
Be certain to look for the white Widescreen
Edition banner across the top of the front
DVD cover as there is a separate P&S version of
this film being released (I have posted the wrong
cover art above - that is all I had available).
Two Weeks Notice is certainly not the
worst movie you could watch on DVD this year --
in fact, I would go as far as recommending this
as the perfect date movie although I can just
envision guys cringing on the couch next to their
Though Two Weeks Notice is labeled as a
romantic comedy, it's neither funny or really
romantic. Trust me, you'll watch this and forget
it a day later.
Release Date: April 29, 2003
All screen captures have been further compressed.
They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
represent actual picture quality