Sandra Bullock has spent her whole career in Julia Roberts' shadow, and what we like about America's Other Sweetheart is that she seems genuinely sweet; her smile isn't coarsened by the glare of the spotlights. The thing is, sweetness isn't enough. It gets you Miss Congeniality, not Miss America. And Bullock, who even starred in a movie called Miss Congeniality, is starting to seem too nice. Her star persona isn't complicated enough. I used to admire the way she sticks to her knitting, turning out one romantic comedy after another. But, dare I say it, she needs to move on, which, according to The New York Times, is exactly what she intends to do. No more romantic comedies, she recently told a reporter, handing herself her own pink slip.
That leaves us with Two Weeks Notice, where she does what we all do when we've quit but haven't yet cleaned out our desks: She coasts. Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, who also scripted Forces of Nature and Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice stars Bullock as a Harvard Law grad who takes on causes as if they were stray cats. The movie opens with her body wrapped around a wrecking ball, and although it pokes gentle fun at her rebel-without-a-cause-she-doesn't-like activism, it also puts her on the side of the angels. On the opposite side is Hugh Grant, working a variation on the cad he played in Bridget Jones's Diary. Here, he's a supercilious cad, a real estate developer who has a heart in there somewhere. Oh, there it is.
Bullock and Grant should have been a good match, she as the down-to-earth American gal, he as the up-in-the-clouds Brit guy. Alas, they've both been sabotaged by writer-director Lawrence, who couldn't write, direct or, for that matter, laugh his way out of a paper bag. The script's a total ugh, filled with lines that are almost, but not quite, funny. And we're never really convinced that someone like her would want to work for someone like him, or that someone like him would hire someone like her. She supposedly wants the pro bono work his firm offers. (Uh-huh.) And he supposedly wants...well, it's hard to tell what he wants because he's so callow, so shallow. Maybe he just wants someone to comb his hair.
It's one of those just-got-out-of-bed cuts, which doesn't exactly "say" real estate developer. Whereas Donald Trump's comb-over, which, along with the rest of Donald Trump, makes a cameo appearance, speaks volumes about the real estate business. A Trump cameo: What is this, the '80s? Two Weeks Notice seems to be going for a Bringing Up Baby kind of thing ' Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, together again.
We should be so lucky.