Notting Hill (1999)

Notting Hill (1999)
  • Time: 124 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Roger Michell
  • Cast: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Rhys Ifans


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.

One comment

  • I expected to see another mediocre romantic comedy like You’ve Got Mail, but I was surprised that enough was different here to make it interesting. The London neighborhood and the characters entertained (although hearing the starring flat originally went for $500K was a bit much.). Especially entertaining was Rhys Ifans as the flatmate “Spike”. I had to resist feeling insulted at such a portrayal of a Welshman in order to admire the performance though. He was very good, even down to the recent cultural shift among some Celts to revert to the pre-British spellings of their names; that I applaud.

    The sets and locations lent an air of realism, too; lots of small details. The Camera work took great advantage of these and gave us a visually rich film without it being “in-your-face” – it caressed.

    The remaining performances surprised too. This was the best I had Seen Hugh Grant. He was perfect in the role. Just enough modest loveability for the ladies in the party. Then there was Julia Roberts. I do not know when I have enjoyed her more in a film. It wasn’t the part, the script or her character. She just seemed “on” for this in a very engaging way. It was a delight to drink in the different looks and degrees of costume. She looked very fetching in the scenes where it appeared as though she were sans makeup; just basic glowing beauty.

    The only negative aspect of the film for me was the multiple breakups. I would have preferred seeing a slow maturation of their relationship. Still, that wasn’t enough to spoil the overall effect. It was refreshing and entertaining to feel good at the end of a movie after some recent things I’ve seen. Oh, there’s room for all those dastardly realistic, rend-your-heart-to-shreds kind of things, but sometimes I just want to go to a movie to feel good. Most telling was at the end of the film, the audience spontaneously applauded; a real rarity. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. So much so I hated to see it end. Bravo.

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