By George Rose
November 26, 2009
Two Weeks Notice (2002)
Majors props to Sandra Bullock for having another smash hit in the year 2009. The Blind Side opened this past weekend and, once again, was Sandra's biggest opening weekend ever. Does this prove she's consistently bankable again? Or does this prove The Proposal was a fluke hit and she's really best suited for the holiday season? I'm not sure, but I remember one of her past holiday films fondly
Two Weeks notice is about an executive assistant named Lucy (Bullock) who has given two weeks notice to her boss (Hugh Grant) and must help him find a replacement. Given the situation, it's not hard to guess that he's extremely needy and she's extremely quirky and lovable. Their relationship is hectic and they banter constantly, which might be less appealing if it were coming any other stars than Grant and Bullock. They are both pros in the romantic comedy field and their collaboration produced nothing less than a great viewing experience. Had the film not opened around the same time as Jennifer Lopez's Maid in Manhattan, I expect it would have been a bigger hit. Though it didn't cross $100 million, it made almost that much, proving that America really does want Bullock to succeed. It took a few years before we, as an audience, could give her the attention she deserves, but she's more than earned it in 2009. If you aren't sure what all her hype is about, check out Two Weeks Notice.
Panic Room (2002)
Most young stars burn out quickly. Because of one role early on, they skyrocket to fame and can't handle the pressure. For an example, see Lindsay Lohan. Ignoring the obvious Parent Trap, her first real role as a developing star was in Mean Girls. Then came drug addiction, a lesbian affair and several critical and commercial flops. After playing a skanky high school girl poser, did you really expect anything less? However, some young stars are so great in their first role that you are positive they will go on to many years of acclaim. My personal favorite example is... Dakota Fanning! If you saw her in I Am Sam, then you know what I'm talking about. There was no doubt her career was only going up. Yet there was a time I rooted for another young actress, though I seemed to be one of few. Her name, as you now all know, is Kristen Stewart.
In Panic Room, Stewart and her on screen mother, Jodie Foster, have moved into a new home. Shortly after settling in, three burglars arrive (including Jared Leto and Forest Whitaker) and begin searching for millions of dollars in hidden bonds. Luckily, the house was fully equipped with a panic room, which is where the mother-daughter pair decide to take refuge. Go figure, that's exactly where the hidden money is! The men try and break in while the women stay locked up safe, that is until Stewart's character requires an insulin shot for her diabetes. The premise is simple, the cast is small and the locations are limited but I was hooked from the very first trailer. As it turned out, I considered the movie just as good. I love Jodie Foster, so that might have helped. Or maybe it was David Fincher's unique style of directing. Or maybe, just maybe, I knew Stewart's great performance was a sign of things to come. Though I followed her career after that, she never really lived up to the hype I'd given, not until Twilight. Now, I'm proud to have noticed her talent so early on and see she didn't go the Lindsay Lohan route. And what better way to reward my devotion to her than by starring alongside Dakota Fanning herself in New Moon.