217. Notting Hill

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Movie: Notting Hill

Release Date: May 28, 1999

Director: Roger Michell

Starring: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Emma Chambers, James Dreyfus, Rhys Ifans, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee.

Tag Lines: “Can the most famous film star in the world fall for just an ordinary guy?”

Relevance: Much like ‘Stepmom’ (see 219. Stepmom), ironically also starring Julia Roberts, ‘Notting Hill’ is a movie that comes with no real story behind it. I simply watched it and fell in love with it. And who really can resist this funny, sweet, charming fairy tale like romantic comedy? Only those without a heart.

I didn’t see the movie when it was released in theaters and I am not really sure why. I was a super fan of the movie ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral,’ a movie that will most definitely be part of this list of most influential movies of all time. Richard Curtis wrote both that movie and ‘Notting Hill.’ I was also a big fan of the star of both of the films, Hugh Grant. This is already his second appearance of four. You can check out 226. Nine Months for the first one. And on top of that I absolutely loved Julia Roberts. But for whatever reason ‘Notting Hill’ was a film that I didn’t see until it was available as a rental. But once I saw it, I really did fall in love.

It was one of those movies that made me smile throughout. Both the directing and acting are spot on and as trite as romantic comedies can be (you know the girl is going to get the guy), it seemed fresh. The quirky ensemble cast added to its charm and as soon as I watched it, I knew it would be a film I would revisit again and again. And that I did.

I have owned many versions of ‘Notting Hill’ from VHS to DVD to Blu Ray. I have watched it hundreds of times and never tire of it. It always makes me laugh, always makes me smile and even makes me cry a bit. We are not talking full on Kleenex box cry, but a little misty. I mean, “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Come on. That’s a good line. Even the heartless ones out there have to admit that.

Today’s Thoughts: 2020 has been the perfect shit show, hasn’t it? And it seems to be getting worse and worse as we come to an end to its fifth month. How can it still be May? With today’s round of social injustice and racist tweets from our pretend President, watching ‘Notting Hill’ added at least two hours of sunshine, smiles, laughter and love. It was nice to turn off the news for a bit and watch Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant do what they do best.

My husband and I literally smiled and laughed for two hours while watching ‘Notting Hill’ today. It is such a feel good movie and just makes my soul happy. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant have really great chemistry on film. It is lovely to watch them. The rest of the cast is just as delightful. Rhys Ifans as Spike is definitely a comedic standout, but everyone has their own special moment that adds to its charm. I really can’t find anything wrong with the movie. And that “girl standing in front of a boy” line still makes me choke up.

‘Notting Hill’ has to be one of the best romantic comedies of the last twenty five years. Its sweetness is irresistible and it is a movie that I will continue to watch whenever I need to feel good. That could possibly be tomorrow the way things are going.

Awards: Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Julia Roberts (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Hugh Grant (nomination), BAFTA Award for Audience Award (winner), BAFTA Award for Best British Film (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Rhys Ifans (nomination).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Hulu, DVD Availability.

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