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Notting Hill (1999)
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Review Date: May 26, 1999
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Richard Curtis
Producers: Duncan Kenworthy
Actors:
Julia Roberts as Anna
Hugh Grant as William
Plot:
Ordinary boy meets extraordinary girl (famous movie star). Boy introduces girl to friends and family. Boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy. Boy loses girl to another boy (another famous movie star). Boy sulks. Girl (still the famous movie star) comes back to boy. Happy once again. Boy loses girl again. Darn! Girl comes back to boy...etc, etc, etc...well, you get the picture!
Critique:
Very interesting premise starring two charming leads, offers a few chuckles here and there, an unconvincing romance, languid pacing and a lot of empty scenes played out specifically for laughs, to the detriment of plot. Add that to the ending of this film which goes overboard in my opinion, despite offering us the only true moment of action in the entire bit, and a complete lack of any real drama, and you've got yourself a ho-hum romantic comedy, built around a fantasy dream to which we could probably all relate. In fact, before seeing this film I thought that the premise of this film was a diamond in the rough, but only if they managed to build something more around it than just the simple "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy...". After seeing this film, I'm afraid to report that there isn't much more in there, folks.

Frankly, that would be fine if the actors in the film were convincing enough in their roles, but I must say that I was far from convinced of anything more than a simple novelty crush on a fidgety Englishman from the part of Julia Roberts' character. And Hugh, well, every scene he was in basically had him looking like a common Brit who was absolutely overwhelmed and in awe of an American movie actress. Not in love with a woman. In awe of an actress. I never FELT like either of these characters ever really cared for one another as people, especially in the case of Hugh, who could not help but look like a wounded puppy dog in every scene (blinking eyes and all), whilst delivering some of the wittiest repartee this side of a screenwriter's sharpest word processor. The supporting cast was pretty good, but used strategically for laughs, and not much else. Admittedly, some of the things that they were saying went right over my head (English accents and all). Overall, a video rental at best, with a few grins here and around, a fun and dreamy premise, but ultimately too repetitive, unconvincing and just plain boring, to recommend with any enthusiasm. Go rent WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (10/10) again, and thank me in the morning :)
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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