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Notting Hill

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Notting Hill

Starring: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts
Director: Roger Michell
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 123 Minutes
Release Date: May 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Hugh Bonneville, Gina McKee, Tim McInnerny, Emma Chambers, Rhys Ifans, Alec Baldwin, Mischa Barton

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Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

She's the most dazzling, famous movie star in the world and he's the sheepish, fumbling proprietor of a tiny travel book store on funky Notting Hill in London. Can they falls in love? Why not? In this joyous, contemporary fairy tale, anything's possible. Especially with a script by Richard Curtis ("Four Weddings and a Funeral) that's reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's "Roman Holiday." The set-up has Julia Roberts, a glamorous American actress, meet Hugh Grant, a book-seller, in his shop - after which he inadvertently spills orange juice all over her T-shirt. She agrees to let him awkwardly clean her up in his nearby flat and - well, nature takes its course. But their path to romance has plenty of bumps which I won't ruin for you. Suffice it to say, she's the impetuous aggressor, while he's wary. She's sophisticated; he's shy. She's agile; he's clumsy. She's direct, saying whatever she thinks; he's understated and evasive, musing, "I've opened Pandora's box, and there's trouble inside." Director Roger Michell has astutely assembled a superb British supporting cast, particularly Rhys Ifans as Grant's wild, Welsh flat-mate and Emma Chambers as his ditsy sister, with Alec Baldwin in an uncredited cameo as Roberts' boy-friend who drops in unexpectedly. There are several mischievous sequences involving the absolute idiocy people display in the presence of a celebrity and a comic sparring-match with the British tabloid press, plus a timely scandal involving obscene photos and sly, amusing repartee involving Mel Gibson's bottom. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Notting Hill" is an amusing, captivating, relentlessly entertaining 10 - a perfect date movie and one of the most delightful films in years!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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