The on-screen pairing of Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant was always going to be an enticing prospect for rom-com lovers. Sure, Bullock's cute-but-clumsy persona and Grant's foppish English twit would never rival Tracy and Hepburn or Allen and Keaton in the comic friction stakes, but on the evidence shown here, the twosome do have a pleasing chemistry. And that's enough to give Two Weeks Notice the spark it needs, however formulaic it may be.
Bullock is feisty leftwing lawyer, Lucy Kelson. Grant is Manhattan property tycoon, George Wade. Obviously they're arch enemies, but that doesn't stop Wade giving her a job after they've clashed over his proposal to gobble up a scenic Coney Island neighbourhood. Pretty soon George can't live without her, but Lucy's fed up of his nice-but-dim demands and gives him (you guessed it) two weeks' notice...
With enough comic mugging to send New York crime figures through the roof and some pointless cameos (Donald Trump, anyone?), Two Weeks Notice is a hard film to love. But it's an easy one to enjoy. Neither Grant nor Bullock stray from their familiar personas, but their charming interplay and fractious banter (courtesy of writer/director Marc Lawrence, the man behind Miss Congeniality) is solid fun. It was never going to be Tolstoy. What it is, however, is the cinematic equivalent of a TV dinner: a little bland, maybe, but it does the job.
Boasting plush set design in the Hollywood rom-com tradition, Notice is jubilantly silly, the one-liners and pratfalls piling up with an almost reckless abandon. There's even a scene where Lucy gets caught short in the middle of a traffic jam, George carrying her to a nearby trailer with seconds to spare: her exploding diarrhoea is loud and long, threatening to provide more squirts-per-buck than Jeff Daniels' toilet antics in Dumb And Dumber. Like we said, it ain't Tolstoy.