A SANDRA BULLOCKS DOUBLE FEATURE...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 12/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous ****
As a sequel, this film surprisingly succeeds. Sandra Bullock, with her coltish good looks and her spot on comedic timing, successfully reprises the role of Gracie Hart, FBI agent. In fact, I enjoyed this film even more than I did the prequel, where Gracie Hart infiltrated a national beauty pageant as a contestant, her affableness winning her the award for Miss Congeniality.
It now appears, however, that Agent Hart's ability to work effectively as an agent has been compromised by the publicity that she received from her entry into that national beauty pageant. Gracie Hart is now instantly recognizable, whenever she hits the streets, by an adoring public who has taken to her as a duck takes to water.
This being the case, the powers that be at the FBI decide to make Agent Hart into a poster girl for the FBI, and she is given a mini entourage to polish their diamond in the rough. By the time they get through with her, Agent Hart is as slick and as polished as a cover girl, temporarily losing sight of why she joined the FBI in the first place.
Agent Hart is assigned a bodyguard, problem child agent, Sam Fuller (Regina King), who has some serious anger management issues. They get initially get along together like oil and water, with some funny comedic moments between the two. Ultimately, at the eleventh hour, their relationship evolves into one of mutual respect.
When Agent Hart's best friend, Miss United States (Heather Burns), is kidnapped in Las Vegas, along with pageant official Stan Fields (William Shatner), Agent Hart remembers why it was that she joined the FBI in the first place. Although she is brought into the case strictly as a media liaison, she desperately wants to be taken seriously as an agent on the case, Unfortunately, her investigative efforts are stymied by the local FBI chief, Agent Collins (Treat Williams), who views her as expendable fluff.
While the storyline may be thin, at times, there are enough memorable moments to sustain the film, not least being the excellent comedic performances given by Sandra Bullock and Regina King. It is a professionally successful pairing of two talented actresses with a flair for the comedic. Sandra Bullock proves, once again, that one can be gorgeous and funny. For Regina King, the role of Sam Fuller is a breakout comedic role for her.
Moreover, the supporting cast is likewise funny. William Shatner, who of late has proven himself to have a deft comedic touch, provides some wacky moments. It was also great to see Treat Williams, who is as attractive as ever, playing the role of Agent Collins, the tightly controlled, ego driven, local FBI chief who seeks to wrap up the case successfully for his own personal aggrandizement. Elizabeth Rohm, of Law and Order fame, is a pleasant surprise in the small role of Carol Fields, the FBI agent who is two timing her fellow agent boyfriend with their mutual boss.
Although the film has some plot holes and may be implausible, at times, it still provides some enjoyable comedic moments. There are also cameo appearances by Regis Philbin and his wife, Joy. While this film may not be everyone's cup of tea, fans of Ms. Bullock will surely enjoy seeing her in this one. This funny, silly movie is definitely worth a rental.
Two Weeks Notice **
Both my daughter and I looked forward to seeing this film. I am a big fan of both Sandra Bullocks and Hugh Grant, as they are charismatic and talented actors with a feel for comedy. Unfortunately, even they cannot overcome a witless script and the ham-handed direction of Marc Lawrence.
Sandra Bullock plays the role of neurotic Lucy Kelson, a Harvard Law School grad who follows in the footsteps of her activist parents by becoming an activist lawyer. Hugh Grant is in his element as George Wade, a real estate developer and playboy tycoon. When they are brought together by fate, they strike a deal that they believe would be in each of their respective best interests. Lucy will work for George as his chief counsel, while George promises not to apply the wrecker's ball to her beloved Coney Island community center.
Unfortunately, as time passes, these two opposites begin to be attracted to each other. Just as fate contrived to bring them together, however, it appears that fate will also tear them apart. When Lucy discovers that George will be unable to keep his promise about the Coney Island community center, she gives him two weeks notice. Enter June Carter (Alicia Witt), also a Harvard Law grad and Lucy's replacement. The luscious June quickly sizes up George Wade and sets her cap for him, causing Lucy to suffer pangs of jealousy of which she had been previously unaware.
There are no surprises in this formulaic film. Hugh Grant does his slightly wacky British turn, while Sandra Bullocks turns in another intelligently ditzy, infectious performance. It is the script and the direction, however, not the actors, that jettison this remarkably unfunny, romantic comedy. The laughs are few and far between. The dialogue is one dimensional and cartoonish. It fails to build a believable romance between the two main characters. Quite frankly, all the film does is waste the considerable talents of Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullocks, as well as the viewer's time. It is an unintelligent, pedestrian film that would otherwise have tanked but for its star power."