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tn_nottinghill Grade:  A -
1999...wow, what a year for movies.  It was a year for "groundbreaking greats" and summed up as "the year that will influence 21st century filmmaking."  It brought us "American Beauty", "The Matrix", "The Sixth Sense", "Fight Club", "Three Kings", "Being John Malkovich", "The Cider House Rules", "The Insider", "The Hurricane", "Run Lola Run", "The Limey" and the list goes on and on.  So out of all these great movies, why mention "Notting Hill"?  To be honest, it just happened to be one of the DVD's I borrowed from a friend to watch again.  Again eh?  So what was your first impression of the movie?  I can't remember.  I think it was one of those weeks where I watched about 3 Julia Roberts movies and they all just fused together into one, making it difficult for me to distinguish between a pretty woman, a runaway bride, or a stepmom.  In any case, I don't remember it being much of an influence, but I thought I would give it another chance and I'm glad I did.

Despite, Ms. Roberts many discrete characters that she plays on screen (hahaha, yeah right), Notting Hill provides her with a chance to play...well, basically someone like herself.  She's Anna Scott, a world famous movie star, who happens to be in London's Notting Hill (hence the title of the film) promoting her new movie.  Hugh Grant ("Sense and Sensibility", "Nine Months") plays William Thacker, a shy and "everyday kind of guy," who is an owner of a small travel bookstore in, (yup, you guessed it) London's Notting Hill.  They meet and voila!...begins the computation for a romantic comedy of boy wants girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy realizes why he lost girl, boy tries desperately to get girl back, boy gets girl, boy and girl live happily ever after.  That's a bit simplistic, but you get the picture.  The success comes when a movie can effectively show these steps while filling in between the gaps.  "Notting Hill" does just that.  The romance between Robert's character and Grant's character is genuine and although there is a leap of faith that needs to be accepted near the beginning, it's believable enough that most people will get past it.

tn_nottinghill_02 Grant plays off a few comedic situations, but nothing can compare to his sloppy flatmate, (that's roommate for us Americans), Spike, portrayed hilariously by Rhys Ifans (keep an eye out for him in "Human Nature" and "Formula 51" this year - the guy is extremely comical).  The rest of the supporting cast hold their own forte as well.  Most are well known British actors and unforgettably do a great job of filling in between those gaps I mentioned earlier.

"Since we're dealing with the same screenwriter (Richard Curtis), producer and at least some of the same acting talent, "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" have similar humor and charm.  However, "Notting Hill" stands alone as another cute and heartwarming story about love against all odds."

By Tim Kha

N o t t i n g H i l l : Q u o t e s & S c e n e s

"I'm going to tell you a story that will make your balls shrink to the size of raisins."

"It's as if I've taken love heroin, and now I can't ever have it again."

"James Bond never has to put up with this sort of sh*t."

"You daft prick!"

Scene 1:  Martin, the travel bookstore employee, speaking to Anna Scott.

Um, could I just say, I thought "Ghost" was the most wonderful film.

Is that right?

Oh yes. Um, I've always wondered what Patrick Swayze is like in real life.

I can't say that I know Patrick all that well.

What, he wasn't all that friendly during filming.

Well, I'm sure he was friendly to Demi Moore who acted with him in "Ghost."

Oh...oh right, sorry...I've always bin a bit of an ass...anyway...um...well, it was lovely to meet you...I'm a huge, huge fan of yours...um, and Demi of course.

Scene 2:  William Thacker turning down Anna Scott's love.

Uh look, um...I'm a fairly levelheaded bloke, not often in and out of love, but uh...can I just say no to your kind request and leave it at that.

Yes...fine, of couse...I uh...of course...well, I'll just be going...um...then, it was nice to see you.

The thing is...with you I'm in real danger, it seems like a perfect situation, part from that foul temper of yours, but my relatively inexperienced heart, would I fear not recover, if I was once again cast aside as I would absolutely expect to be...uh...there are just too many pictures of you, too many films, ya know, you would go and I would be...well...buggered, basically.

That really is a real no isn't it?

I live in Notting Hill, you live in Beverly Hills. Everyone in the world knows who you are. My mother has trouble remembering my name.

Fine...fine, good decision...good decision. The fame thing isn't really real, ya know. And don't forget, I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.

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