Monday, December 23, 2002

Two Weak Notice

The first movie review I ever wrote was while serving as the editor of my high school newspaper. I don't remember what movie it was about but I remember I got it in my noggin that it would be side splittingly clever to write a review where the reviewer allowed the fact that movies are shown in a public place to distract him from what movie reviewers usually base their reviews on- the actual movie. So I devoted most of the review to being annoyed with the running conversation of the people behind me, the sticky floors, and the tasteless refreshments. My final sentence got around to mentioning that the movie was OK.

When the newspaper issue hit the hallways I overheard someone asking a friend if she saw the review and how stupid it was- that the dork who wrote it didn't even write about the movie. It was then I realized my sense of humor is lost on some (maybe even most) people.

I wasn't in the best of moods, or the holiday spirit going to the latest Sandra Bullock movie (a quirky ritual for me). Having seen the previews for Two Weeks Notice I must admit it looked like a dreadful romantic comedy, another underwhelming Bullock picture. I had to drag myself to the theater- fighting the holiday traffic and the notion that I had other places I much rather wanted to be- most notably my living room couch plopped down in front of my TV.

And ominously things didn't go well even before the movie started. I went up to the ticket window and said, "One for Two Weeks Notice please," and the young woman behind the bullet proof glass huffed into her tinny microphone, "Ten dollars." I gasped. Ten dollars? But I didn't protest too much and handed her the money and got back two tickets in return. Sheepishly I silently confessed to myself that yes I am a loser and I do go to a lot of movies by myself but that wasn't worth swallowing my pride and eating five bucks. So I pointed out her error and she apologized and I went to get my popcorn.

Interrupting a conversation between two employees I asked for my medium popcorn and small Sprite. The guy behind the counter didn't miss a beat and continued telling the other guy how he had found some of the old medicine they gave him when he got his tonsils out and he was glad because he was in some serious pain. I don't know about you but the last thing a fellow wants to hear while some pimply youngster is pouring a buttery like substance on an order of popcorn is that the youngster is loopy on a narcotic.

I then proceeded on to the ticket taker. He tore my ticket and told me the movie was in the theater immediately in front of me. I looked up and noticed the marquee said Star Trek Nemesis so I wandered down the hall to the next theater figuring that is what the guy meant. I heard him call out behind me. "Sir! Sir!" So I turned around and he pointed to the theater with the marquee that didn't read what I expected it to read. I walked back and started to go inside but changed my mind. "Are you sure?" I asked him (echoing one of my Dad's favorite sayings). He looked at me as if I were daft. Yeah, maybe I am but I am from this country and I know the marquee to a movie usually reflects its actual title. He looked at my ticket again and pointed me to another theater.

Three for three in customer/service representative exchanges.

Oh and what about the movie? I liked it. In my Sandra Bullock pantheon of films this one would rate in the top three or four. Yes you know where it is going from the start. She plays a liberal lawyer trying to make the world a better place. She gets hired by one of the people she has spent a lifetime fighting- a billionaire land developer played by the always charming Hugh Grant. They don't see eye to eye and somehow don't see what we the audience see- that they are attracted to each other.

Even though it appears they won't, that it can't possibly happen- they end up falling in love and ending up together. It is a story done by a zillion different people in a zillion different movies and yet because both Bullock and Grant are easily likable it is a nice little movie. Breezy and at times witty (I especially liked Grant's line while visiting a house where the host asks him if there is anything she can get him and he replies, "A Milk Dud." I think I'll add that to my own repertoire. I also liked that Bullock's character helps Grant pick out a new line of stationery between two choices by tasting their envelope glue. Granted these aren't the moments that most people in the audience laughed at. The movie is obviously meant to be crowd pleasing.) For anyone who has ever left one job for the other- that awkward time spent finishing out the old job, not wanting to do the work, anxious about what is ahead wondering if one is up for the challenge while battling the nostalgia of all that has gone on at the old soon to be departed workplace- this movie somehow really gets that feeling down pat. Thus if nothing else it's accurately named.

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