In considering star power, it only makes sense that the power will be enhanced if a movie boasts more than one star.
That’s especially welcome in a romantic comedy, as affirmed by the engaging teaming of Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant in “Two Weeks Notice,” currently streaming on Netflix. Writer-director Marc Lawrence’s tale feels so fresh, it’s hard to believe it’s almost 20 years old now (released in 2002), but that attests to the ongoing popularity of its two leads.
Grant plays a New York real-estate developer and committed playboy who’s quite set in his ways when he crosses paths with an attorney (Bullock) unhappy about his intention to raze a community center for one of his projects. As angry as she is about his plans, he’s sufficiently impressed with her to hire her as his new chief counsel, a job she accepts with some reservations.
Those prove to be warranted, since he wants and needs much more than her legal expertise: He basically asks her to be his constant social adviser, even consulting her on which necktie he should wear. With her Type A personality, she doesn’t have much patience for the role in which she’s been cast … and she ultimately gives, as the film’s title infers, her two weeks’ notice.
The story doesn’t end there, however, since Grant’s character pulls every string he has — and he has a lot of them at his disposal — to make sure the lawyer isn’t hired elsewhere. They reach an accord and she agrees to help him find a suitable replacement for her; Alicia Witt plays the candidate eventually chosen by the smitten Grant, though Bullock doesn’t think she has the necessary experience.
It’s not hard to guess how this ends up, but getting there is plenty of fun. The stars also get terrific support from Robert Klein and Dana Ivey as Bullock’s parents, and several real-life New York staples of the time make cameo appearances as themselves.
The heavy lifting clearly falls to Bullock and Grant, though, and the opposites-attract nature of their personalities makes for pure pleasure in a script clearly designed for them. Filmmaker Lawrence had worked with Bullock on “Forces of Nature” and “Miss Congeniality” previously, so he knew how to tailor a role to her, and he obviously versed himself well on Grant’s rom-com canon.
If you’re a Sandra Bullock fan or a Hugh Grant fan, “Two Weeks Notice” is sure to satisfy you, And if you’re a fan of both, even better.