Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) is an anti-establishment lawyer, fighting to preserve historiclandmarks from heedless developers. One of these heedless developers is George Wade (HughGrant), a man as shallow as he is rich. Lucy confronts George just as he is desperate for a newlaywer, and he talks her into working for him despite her misgivings. He comes to depend onher for absolutely everything (clothes to wear, stationary to use, etc.), to the point that he takesover her lif…. She gives her notice, and at that point the romantic sparks begin to fly. Bullock isa gifted physical comic, handling pratfalls with aplomb (and much more convincing in this partthan as a tough cop in Murder by Numbers). Grant, shorn of his usual stuttering, is also in fineform. While the plot runs out of steam (the premise simply isn’t strong enough to support a fullfilm), by that time the characters have sufficiently endeared themselves to us, and the gags anddialogue are witty enough, that we watch happily to equally happy conclusion.
My impression of the environmental effect is that it gets stronger as the film progresses.Though I was barely able to detect anything other than music from the rear speakers during thefirst part of the film, by the end I was much more conscious of being enveloped by sound. Still,the surround effects are generally low key. The music sounds very good, and is nice and strongwithout drowning out the dialogue. This dialogue, furthermore is without distortion (whichwould have been noticeable, given how much Bullock is called upon to shout in the earlyscenes.)
The colours are good, though rather bland; this is not a very interesting movie to look at. Thecontrasts, generally solid, are a little weak in one of two night shots (though most of these workwell). There is no grain, and virtually no edge enhancement. The layer transition is appallinglyclumsy, but my principle beef is with the format. This is the widescreen edition, and when I pickup a widescreen disc, I expect to see the full image. But this ratio is 1.78:1, while the featuretteclearly reveals the actual film is 1.85:1. If I wanted cropping, I’d watch fullscreen.
The commentary is very cheerful, but you’d better be in a silly mood. Bullock, Grant andwriter/director Marc Lawrence giggle and joke their way through a very meandering track. Atone point Grant wonders if people ever actually listen to commentaries, and the question is validwhen applied to silly exercises of this sort. The Making-of featurette is the usual promotionalmaterial. There are two deleted scenes (but, sadly, no commentary explaining their deletion).“Two Bleeps Notice” is a feature that, when triggered, presents are heart icon on the screen atvarious moments during the movie. Hit enter, and you are treated to some outtakes from therelevant scene. (A simple outtake reel would have served us better in this instance, I think.)Finally, there are filmographies for Bullock, Grant and Lawrence, and the theatrical trailer. Themenu’s main page and intro are animated and scored.
While no Amelie or Secretary (or even Kissing Jessica Stein), this is a very good-natured,engaging romantic comedy, with some pretty solid laughs.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Makin-of Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- “Two Bleeps Notice” Outtake Viewing Option
- Cast and Director Filmographies
- Theatrical Trailer