Reader review: Notting Hill

2012-07-23 07:37
This film might be considered an "oldie" but it is the ultimate chick flick. Classic tale of boy meets girl, they  fall in love and are parted by circumstances. The film was released in 1999 and became the biggest grossing British film of that year. It was the "must see" movie of the year: the one that everyone was talking about.
It stars  the boyish looking, slightly diffident Hugh Grant as William Thacker, a bookshop owner in Notting Hill and the delectable Julia Roberts as Anna Scott, a Hollywood actress.
Will and Anna meet briefly when she wanders into his shop and then fate seems to take a hand when they collide in the street shortly afterwards and Will spills orange juice on them both. He invites her over for a clean up, she thanks him with a kiss and the stage is set for a funny but poignant movie about love found and lost.
Anna invites Will to her hotel where she is staying under the name of "Flintstone" but the press had invaded the hotel and not knowing what to do, he claims to be from "Horse and Hound".

Very funny moments ensue  when Will has to interview all of the cast of Anna's new film without having seen it. When he at long last gets her alone, she agrees to be his date to his sister, Honey's birthday party.
Anna likes Will's friends and the film springs to life when you suddenly realize that she might be the most beautiful actress in the world but was actually just this poor famous little rich girl always pursued by the press.

Her vulnerability shows through and she captures your heart.  Afterwards, Will shows her his "secret garden," on a private London square: a place where he would one day like to live and raise a family.
After a few dates, circumstances force them apart. As he walks along Portobello Rd, the song: "Ain’t No Sunshine,"  plays and it is a real “tissue” moment. Typical of the genre: on, off , on, off, etc.
Eventually Anna turns up at the shop in what can be argued as the most memorable scene: "I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."

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