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.
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
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.
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June 27, 2013 at 08:00 PM