Melanie Parker, an architect and mother of Sammy, and Jack Taylor, a newspaper columnist and father of Maggie, are both divorced. They meet one morning when overwhelmed Jack is left ... See full summary »
Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.
Every man's dream comes true for William Thacker, an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner, when Anna Scott, the world's most beautiful woman and best-liked actress, enters his shop. A little later, he still can't believe it himself, William runs into her again - this time spilling orange juice over her. Anna accepts his offer to change in his nearby apartment, and thanks him with a kiss, which seems to surprise her even more than him. Eventually, Anna and William get to know each other better over the months, but being together with the world's most wanted woman is not easy - neither around your closest friends, nor in front of the all-devouring press. Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Grant & Roberts dominate in London love story - 77%
By rights, I should hate this film. A romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts is not normally my sort of thing but sometimes, a good girlie film such as "Notting Hill" can be just what the doctor ordered. I am still the only person I know who enjoyed "Lost In Translation", after all. But also, it's nice to think that my movie tastes aren't solely dictated by the amount of violence, sex and swearing involved so I snuggled up to my Better Half to watch this last night on TV.
Roberts plays an incredibly famous actress called Anna Scott, in London to promote her latest film. One day, whilst shopping in Notting Hill, she bumps into bumbling bookstore owner Will Thacker (Grant) and spills orange juice all down her front. So begins a on-off relationship with the tongue-tied English dandy, marred by a variety of life's little problems such as Thacker's insane Welsh flatmate (Rhys Ifans), unwanted press intrusion and Anna's hectic movie star schedule. While this is undoubtedly a romantic comedy, this film also looks at the nature of fame, the different reactions to it and the drawbacks of having your face plastered over the back of a London bus.
Given that this is from the same team that brought you "Four Weddings And A Funeral" and "Love, Actually", it isn't so great a surprise to find Grant turning in yet another performance as a stumbling, clumsy English gent, the likes of which you only see in P.G. Wodehouse novels. It isn't a great stretch for Julia Roberts either, playing the most famous actress in the world. And quite frankly, if Richard Curtis hadn't brought them together then someone else would have by now. But the simple truth is that this really is a match made in heaven. Ably assisted by the rest of the cast (led by the brilliant Ifans), the two leads are given free reign to go googly-eyed at each other and do exactly what romantic leads should. And aside from a couple of duff lines, "Notting Hill" is a wonderful film filled with the ups and downs of a protracted courtship - exactly the sort of thing my Better Half loves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a cold-hearted son-of-a-gun but even I melted somewhat during this film. The highlight, for me, was the scene where Grant wanders through the markets of Portobello Road amid the changing seasons of a year - brilliantly shot and wonderfully scored too.
Even if the ending is all too predictable and you even know what to expect when you sit down to watch it, "Notting Hill" pretty much hits the mark every time. It's romantic without being overly sentimental and sugary and the comedy is never forced, flowing naturally throughout the film and its amusing assortment of bit-part background players. But the film rightly belongs to Grant and Roberts, even if they seem to be sleepwalking at times. And without sounding too pretentious, the movie is beautifully shot - London has rarely looked better than it does here. "Notting Hill" is probably as good a date movie as you'll find and if it can convert an action fan like myself then the chances are, it will work for you too. The movie equivalent of a Mills and Boon - you know exactly what to expect but you don't enjoy it any less because of it.
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