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Two Weeks Notice

YOU CERTAINLY won't fall off your chair laughing. But you should find something to smile about in this light-hearted comedy featuring Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. Both are cute and can be very funny. Especially Sandra, who, after "Miss Congeniality", is expected to bumble around being this `Alice in Wonderland', but charming, nevertheless. As for Hugh, after "Nottinghill", he kind of grows on you and you can forgive him if there are some silly moments.

In Warner Bros "Two Weeks Notice" you find that you do that now and then. For, the story (written and directed by Marc Lawrence) is not particularly unusual and neither is the humour uproarious — it is more like a quiet laugh you have over the foibles of two unlikely people taking each other for granted. Till such time they discover that they actually cannot do without each other!

Nothing heavy or edgy, Hugh Grant plays a millionaire George Wade, the charming, philandering head of Wade Corporation. Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) barges into his life (between wives) like a 1960s type liberal lawyer, protesting against his company's demolition of a local community centre. The protest unexpectedly turns into a job interview because Lucy has something to offer George. ``You need someone who can write your brief instead of removing yours.'' She becomes Wade's corporate counsel, trying to guide the company to greater social awareness and charity.

So then Lucy the lawyer becomes his everything — from his conscience to the person who even chooses his tie. He just cannot seem to make a move without her. And when it all becomes too much for her — especially after a late night call asking for advice about how to make a woman come home with him — she decides enough is enough. She serves him a two weeks notice.

The only problem is George just won't stand for that! Of course the set up is promising enough. What with Lucy being noble, kind to pets, children, andold people, and she respects her parents who encourage her protest rallies. And George being the developer without much of a conscience. Sparks should have flown. But they don't.

George does not even come across as rotten enough to make him interesting. He does not do anything dramatic to keep Lucy from quitting and actually doesn't seem to be the heartless developer. He has to be made one by his brother, who tells him, ``we'll lose everything, if we don't go through with this.''

Since Sandra has played this lonely, but misunderstood beauty once too often, there are no surprises there. When everybody is sweet and nice and nobody rubs anyone the wrong way, there is no friction. And it takes friction to create the sparks! But then though the film lacks feistiness, it has its warm moments.

And even if there is nothing that would make you want to go all the way with the characters, it does not matter — because sometimes fluff is a good way of passing time. And that is really fine — at least while it lasts.

CHITRA MAHESH

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