It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
If I tell you "Two Weeks Notice" is a romantic comedy and it stars Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, what do you already know, and what do you need to know? You already know: That when they meet the first time, they don't like each other. That circumstances bring them together. That they get along fine, but are sometimes scared by that and back off a little. That they are falling in love without knowing it. That just when they're about to know it, circumstances force them apart. That they seem doomed to live separately, their love never realized. That circumstances bring them back together again. That they finally cave in and admit they're in love.
You need to know: What her job is. What his job is. What they disagree about. What their personality flaws are. And whether, just when their eyes are about to meet, it is a woman who seems to lure him away, or a man who seems to lure her away? You also need to know certain plug-in details of the movie, such as which ethnic groups and ethnic foods it will assign, and what fantasy dreams it will realize.
I have not, by making these observations, spoiled the plot of the movie. I have spoiled the plot of every romantic comedy. Just last week I saw "Maid in Manhattan," and with that one you also know the same things and don't know the same things. The thing is, it doesn't matter that you know. If the actors are charming and the dialogue makes an effort to be witty and smart, the movie will work even though it faithfully follows the ancient formulas.
Romantic comedies are the comfort food of the movies. There are nights when you don't feel like a chef who thinks he's more important than the food. When you feel like sliding into a booth at some Formica joint where the waitress calls you "Hon" and writes your order on a green and white Guest Check. Walking into "Two Weeks Notice" at the end of a hectic day, week, month and year, I wanted it to be a typical romantic comedy starring those two lovable people, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. And it was. And some of the dialogue has a real zing to it. There were wicked little one-liners that slipped in under the radar and nudged the audience in the ribs.