Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Movie Review - Two Weeks Notice

Hugh Grant seems to play himself in every film, and fortunately playing himself is something he does very well. (Well, okay, in this film he starts of reprising his charming villain role in Bridget Jones' Diary and finishes off as his charming nice guy character in Notting Hill) Subsequently the roles he plays these days always seem to be tailor-made for him, and there is no-one else you can imagine playing the same role. Sandra Bullock is rather more versatile, but in this she plays much the same role as she did in Miss Congeniality. As a team, and with a dependable supporting cast (including the similarly stereotyped female consoler Brittany Murphy, who I'm sure could be a true star in her own right if only she got a leading role), the only question is: is the script up to the job?

I am glad to say that this is one of the best scripts in any film I have seen for a long time. The storyline is based upon a Grant (completely unscrupulous high-flying "public face" of a multi-million pound corporation) hiring ethics-bound solicitor Bullock as his chief council. I was unfortunate enough to be in the same cinema as a bunch of right morons - some guy who felt the need to comment loudly on certain events in the film, and (much worse!) a bunch of stupid little tarts who kept their phones on, talked loudly and wandered around during the film. But cinema is fraught with such hazards, and this film was worth enduring the nuisances for. (When it comes out on DVD you can get rid of them anyway!)

Thus being the quality of the audience, most of the humour (particularly in the first half-hour) went completely over their heads. The banter reminded me of some of the old Clark Gable films, in a time where conversation was the most important aspect of a film. For instance, when asked why in an interview (following his company giving a Paediatrics Wing of a hospital millions of pounds), "So why exactly is Paediatrics so important to your company?", he replies, "Well, you know, feet are important." The interviewer looks puzzled, and asks, "Just the feet?" "Well, obviously there's more than just feet." Neither the interviewer or the audience really knows whether he is being endearingly stupid or just plain stupid. It is this level of subtlety that was lost on the vast majority of the audience, but more mature viewers will appreciate it. There are other instances of humour, which require a slightly developed intelligence (which I flatter myself to believe I possess!). This is what makes it stand out from your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy.

Unsurprisingly, despite their initial differences, the two lead characters fall in love in the end. (Despite the fact that, initially, Grant comes to depend on her for absolutely all decisions, even calling her out of a wedding for which she is bridesmaid on an emergency... which turns out to be that he can't decide what suit to wear for an interview...) It's a very feel-good movie, but one that also addresses some important issues about how our minds work, especially in regards to the ethics we have.

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This film made it into my - Top Ten Romantic Comedies List

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