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Two Weeks Notice takes you back—to 2000, when Sandra Bullock inhabited a more entertaining version of her tough, overeating character in the more entertaining Miss Congeniality. And to 2001, when Hugh Grant played a similarly hated but irresistible lady killer in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Aside from these repeat performances—and a couple of scenes that are lifted right out of Miss Congeniality, which director Marc Lawrence wrote—Two Weeks Notice starts off trying to be a romantic comedy with a difference. Although Bullock’s do-gooding lawyer, Lucy, has a degree of contempt for Grant’s George Wade, the ruthless businessman she has often faced in her save-the-planet battles, she buries it when he offers her a job, access to funds that could benefit her roster of worthy causes, and a promise that he’ll save the beloved community center she’s currently fighting for. So there’s no I-hate-you! I-love-you! chemistry evident in their working relationship; in fact, there’s no chemistry at all, just a subdued mutual like between an on-top-of-things employee and an increasingly dependent boss who clearly seem headed for…friendship? Well, my naivete actually had me hoping for such a refreshing twist, but I have a feeling that everyone else in the audience saw the luv comin’. Lucy and George are both painfully one-dimensional—she’s a quirky tomboy! he’s a spoiled man-child!—and most of the humor is likewise torturous. (Please, God, let the brain cells housing the memory of Lucy’s desperate search for a bathroom to the tune of “Taking Care of Business” be the first to die.) There are occasional moments of enjoyable silliness, such as Lucy’s out-of-character attempt at sexiness when she gets drunk, but the machine-gun jokes mostly miss, and the movie comes to a screeching halt after the first glimmer of attraction makes its appearance. Which just goes to show that though delaying the onset of a cliche is a worthy goal in itself, it doesn’t make a film any nobler. —Tricia Olszewski