The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.


Roger Michell


Richard Curtis
815 ( 256)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Anna Scott
Hugh Grant ... William Thacker
Richard McCabe ... Tony
Rhys Ifans ... Spike
James Dreyfus ... Martin
Dylan Moran ... Rufus the Thief
Roger Frost ... Annoying Customer
Henry Goodman ... Ritz Concierge
Julian Rhind-Tutt ... 'Time Out' Journalist
Lorelei King ... Anna's Publicist
John Shrapnel ... PR Chief
Clarke Peters ... 'Helix' Lead Actor
Arturo Venegas Arturo Venegas ... 'Helix' Foreign Actor
Yolanda Vazquez Yolanda Vazquez ... 'Helix' interview Interpreter
Mischa Barton ... 'Helix' 12-year-old Actress


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Can the most famous film star in the world fall for just an ordinary guy?


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Humorously enough, "Rufus the Thief," who attempts to steal a book from William's book shop early in the movie, is played by Dylan Moran, who shortly thereafter starred in Black Books (2000) - a comedy series centered on a book shop. See more »


In the scene where they are all having a farewell dinner at Tony's restaurant, first the spaghetti is in the large bowl with Tony mixing, then suddenly the spaghetti has been dished to to each person's individual bowls. See more »


Spike: [about Anna who is staying with Will] Well, isn't this a good opportunity to... slip her one?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The coloured dots and symbols pop up in time with the music (And when the word 'heart' is sung, a litte red heart appears) See more »

Alternate Versions

Universal Studios released a Family Friendly version on DVD that removes objectionable content. This version has a blue border on the DVD cover. See more »


Featured in Ronan Keating: When You Say Nothing at All (1999) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and Patty S. Hill
See more »

User Reviews

Sparkling fairy tale romance, film star meets ordinary bookseller
16 March 2006 | by roghacheSee all my reviews

Whether or not realistic, this is a wonderfully touching fairy tale like story of the romance between two people of unequal social and financial standing. The beautiful, rich, and famous American movie star is superbly captured by the incomparable and always endearing Julia Roberts, who brings such a wonderful vulnerability to her roles. Hugh Grant is perfect as the shy, stammering, bumbling, unassuming, obscure, and not very affluent London bookseller, who shares a flat with his zany, weird roommate, Spike.

The tale revolves around the world's most famous actress, Anna Scott, who visits a Notting Hill travel bookshop and thereby meets the very ordinary British bookseller, William Thacker. Improbable as it might seem, the two fall in love despite the fact that Anna already has a 'significant other' in the form of the obnoxious star, Jeff, who treats her poorly. Alas, Anna and William's romance is of course subject to hounding by the ubiquitous media, making the course of true love definitely not run smooth.

Just an aside, but did the screenwriters get Hugh Grant's character's name from the Victorian novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray? It seems quite a coincidence. Ha, ha. Anyway, nice name...

The film does a marvelous job conveying what must resemble Julia Roberts' own fishbowl life, subject to constant media scrutiny and innuendo. She must have identified strongly with the character she was playing, not only the media nuisance but also the failed relationships so common among film stars. Her hounding by the paparazzi is also of course reminiscent of that plaguing the late Princess Diana, and of course, sadly, resulting in her death.

The portrayal of William's friends is very touching here, as their reaction transforms from understandable awe at socializing with such a famous star, to accepting and treating Anna as basically an ordinary person and good friend. The viewer gets a sense of how much this response, this genuine friendship means to Anna. One of William's friends is a disabled wife in a wheelchair. Her normal, ordinary life and attitude are well captured and would be well received, I believe, by viewers with physical disabilities.

The love story is beautifully depicted. The sadness of Anna's failed past romantic involvements is conveyed, and despite the fame, her vulnerability as being really just 'an ordinary girl in love with an ordinary boy'. The portrayal of William is touching, as he copes with all the media attention, sees the actual person behind all that fame, wealth, and glamour, and tries to give Anna the genuine security and the 'ordinary life' she so desperately craves. A fabulous, moving, and ultra romantic film with a relevant message regarding modern society's perception and treatment of its movie stars. We can all learn a lesson here.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Notting Hill See more »


Box Office


$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,811,180, 30 May 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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