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Notting Hill (1999) – Movie Review

Notting Hill movie poster

Written by: Richard Curtis
Directed by: Roger Michell
Starring: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Rhys Ifans, Hugh Bonneville, Emma Chambers

My Advice: Wait and Rent It.

William Thacker (Grant) runs a travel book shop in (yes you guessed it!) Notting Hill, and he’s not doing too well. He gets even worse when Anna Scott (Roberts) comes into his store and the two fall in love. But…what’s that you say, you thought this was a romantic comedy?

Well, it’s written by the same guy who did Four Weddings, so you’d expect it to be gut-bustingly funny–which it is. Roberts does a good job portraying the world’s most popular actress and getting her shots in at the media and at stardom in general. Grant is in fine Hugh Grant form, completely gabberflasted at the situation he finds himself in. The supporting cast, just like in Four Weddings, is to be commended, especially Grant’s flatmate in the form of Spike (Ifans), a buffoon’s buffoon. However–and you knew this was coming…

[ad#longpost]Just when everything seems to be going great for our hero and we’re sure he’s got the girl, we realize that no one in their right mind would want her. Oh sure, to be certain she’s beautiful, she’s witty, and she’s famous–but she’s a bitch, pure and simple. She won’t lose any opportunity to deny or betray the poor bastard (Grant) who loves her and leave him out in the cold to save her own skin. I won’t say too much else since it’s spoiler material, but suffice to say this is the most blatant case of “It’s all the man’s fault” cinema I’ve probably ever seen. What the hell. And also, listen for the really cheesy songs with long crappy titles that play anytime Roberts and Grant walk anywhere together. Whoever came up with that little tired device needs to be shot.

Regardless, the humor of the film saves it from a completely trite and unsatisfying (nay, shall I say enraging) ending. Still worth a rental.

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