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Two Weeks Notice

Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock

Two Weeks Notice is another rom com that I forgot that I’ve seen years ago. Lucy (played by Bullock) is a legal aid attorney and social justice activist. She lands a job with a billionaire tycoon (Grant) and influences him to use his money for good instead of evil. He is very much taken with her discipline and intelligence and a romance between the unlikely couple follows.

Lucy is smart, dedicated to her work, and unable to keep a guy. She has a slightly ‘nutty’ edge. So we can see that the workaholic, nutty female protagonist was a character in the classic rom com as far back as at least 2002. I think we’re starting to see a slight move away from this character (perhaps archetypal figure) from time to time, but she is generally still the most common female protagonist in the 21st Century rom com.

Two Weeks Notice sports a very Hugh Grant-esque ending, with that Hugh Grant-esque speech you gotta love. It’s quite a good flick for romance, but doesn’t have the clever humour that has developed in rom coms over the last few years. Still quite a good movie though and you’ll probably see it come up on TV now and again, so give it a try.

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28 Days

Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Elizabeth Perkins

Sandra Bullock plays Gwen Cummings, a hard partying alcoholic and drug addict. After misbehaving very badly, she is put into rehab for 28 days. At first she won’t cooperate in the rehabilitation, but eventually she starts relating to her fellow inmates, forms some powerful relationships, and then finally confronts her own problems.

I’m not sure there’s enough funny bits in this movie for it to count as a rom com. In fact, there’s a lot more sadness than there is romance. But I think Bullock is very good and it’s not a bad flick.

The Proposal

Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Akerman

Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a NY book editor who’s incredibly scary to her staff. She is totally committed to her job, and has no family or lovelife.

Because she is a Canadian citizen, she needs to marry her Executive Assistant, Andrew (played by Ryan Reynolds), in order to remain employed and living in the United States. So they fake a relationship for the sake of the immigration authorities and Margaret’s employers.

They also have to lie to Andrew’s family when they fly out to Alaska for a visit. When his family, the distinguished Paxtons, insist on them getting married there and then, Margaret’s plan starts to unravel. She has started to enjoy having a family, and also starts to have feelings for Andrew. Her icy demeanor begins to thaw.

As far as predictable movies go, this one is somewhere up the top of the list. No clean-cut, popular American film would risk a plot line involving illegal immigration issues, so you kind of know where things are heading.

But it’s not too bad, Bullock does a good job and despite her hard-assed personality, she is a likable character. Classic rom com.

All About Steve

Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper

Mary wants to be Steve’s girlfriend but they’re clearly not suited. Because she’s working through a few personal issues with her life, she doesn’t see that he is trying to shake her off. She follows him across the country, meets people along the way, and has some meaningful experiences with them, culminating in a meaningful experience with Steve himself. It doesn’t end with the usual smooch. If it did, it would be absurd because there is no way you can have Steve falling for Mary and make it work.

What a shame. I do love Sandra Bullock. I remember seeing The Net years ago and loving the fact that she wore the same outfit the entire film – she was just so natural, and her character was more important than her clothes. I also liked her in 28 Days when she plays an ancoholic going into rehab.

But this movie doesn’t work for her. Her character, Mary, is absurd – she’s a little mad, she’s smart and eccentric, and she’s a little too loud.  And so are her clothes. Her outfits don’t suit her and neither does her character. Some-one else should have had this role. Bradley Cooper as Steve is okay, but he’s overshadowed by the ridiculousness of Mary.

I wouldn’t bother watching this film twice.  In fact, not sure if you should bother watching it once.  If you find it on your kitchen table and there’s nothing else to do on a rainy Sunday, give it a shot, otherwise…

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