Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two Weeks Notice (2002) [PG-13] ***

There is a striking similarity between Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics, both of which were written and directed by Marc Lawrence. Both films star Hugh Grant as a shy, self-deprecating celebrity, irresistible to women because of his wealth or star power. Both films co-star a lovely girl (Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice, Drew Barrymore in Music and Lyrics) who has taken a relatively unglamorous path in life, and doesn't appear to be living up to her full potential. She is also poorly dressed and romance-deprived.

In both films Grant and the girl meet cute; Grant quickly appreciates her potential, and immediately offers her a seemingly incredible opportunity to work with him, which will allow her to express herself creatively. In both films the girl has to be convinced to accept Grant's offer. The two work well and productively together, albeit not without some friction, and a romance develops. But then, during the third act, Grant does or says something thoughtless and inconsiderate, something that threatens to destroy their relationship; at the last minute he realizes his error and brilliantly redeems himself by performing an extraordinary, romantic act which melts her heart.

Two Weeks Notice is about real estate development, lawyers and old money, and while Grant and Bullock have good chemistry, their relationship is much more about work than romance, and there's more drama than comedy. Music and Lyrics, by comparison, is about writing music and the New York entertainment scene. Grant and his co-star Drew Barrymore have great chemistry, their relationship is about romance as well as work, the romance is better developed and much more intense, and there's more comedy than drama. Music and Lyrics also features a better written script, a stronger supporting cast, and a bigger production budget, including an original soundtrack with some truly memorable songs. While Two Weeks Notice is a good film, Music and Lyrics, which was released five years later in 2007 is a great film, and could almost be thought of as Two Weeks Notice 2.0. If you have to make a choice, forget Two Weeks Notice and go for Music and Lyrics.  

Labels: comedy, drama, romance   
Internet Movie Database   
Metacritic 42/100   
Tomatometer (critics=42, viewers=63) 

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