Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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My favorite Julia Roberts movie. The chemistry between Grant and Roberts is undeniable and what makes this a timeless classic. Perhaps everything but the Blockbuster Video card.
Who doesn't want to fall in love with a beautiful actress.
Unrealistic storyline with poor script and tacky dialogue. At about 2hrs the film well and truly overstays it’s red carpet. Don’t get off the Tube at Notting Hill keep on going.
If youâ(TM)re a hopeless romantic (as I tend to be) you may last the distance of this way overlong, crudish, fairytale. By the first 20mins I was getting somewhat restless and my viewing accomplice simply said, enough is enough, then got up and left. I waited to see if it got better â" it didnâ(TM)t. Hugh Grant is typecast (or should that be miscast?) as the by the numbers coy, clumsy, bookstore owner - while Julia Roberts does her best to convince, as the poor-little-rich-movie star. Both have to deal with a forced, unrealistic, script by the same writing team of â~4 weddings and a Funeralâ(TM) (& it shows) with a dreary slow pace. Example; if you can swallow the idea that an International Movie Mega-Star beauty, can walk unnoticed through the streets and shops of London - without attracting any Paparazzi! - Or on the other hand, that a nobody, spreading a rumour one night in a local pub, can bring a street blocking avalanche of international press to an unknown â~privateâ(TM) address â" then you might enjoy this outlandish â~would-beâ(TM) situation comedy. Ms Roberts knows only too well, how impossible it would be for her character to get away with this super-stretched situation.
Itâ(TM)s amazing what star power can do to convince some audiences to part with their money. If you happen to be in the right starry-eyed mood (like; newly in love or just won the lottery) you could possibly be the right audience for this fluff â" otherwise, donâ(TM)t expect too much, look for something worthwhile or just steer clear. If this is being touted as one the best romantic movies of its year â" then, seems to suggest there may have been lean pickings on offer. As with too many movies of this era, the soundtrack is overloaded with unnecessary pop songs to fill in for gaps in dialog (and sell S/T CDs). To each their own.
Best points; It offers a role for a disabled character to be shown in a positive light. Thereâ(TM)s also a funny interview sequence at a London Hotel Press Conference.
Hard one. There are elements of brilliance. But the film leans on tried homophobic and racist stereotypes. The thieving Irishman. The stupid Welshman. The sexless feminized homosexual, who are all kept at arms length. It basically damages an otherwise great film.
Notting Hill is a romantic comedy or rom-com from 1999 made by a successful production company (Working Title) and written by an equally successful screenwriter of the time, Richard Curtis.
The team had been behind another successful rom-com of the 1990s, Four Weddings And A Funeral.
It is as the title unoriginally suggests set in the Notting Hill area of London. An affluent area some would say yet at the same time home of immigrants and the annual carnival. It is also the home of a bustling market. I digress!
Back to the film. Anyway, Hugh Grant plays a travel book shop owner William Thacker who lives within walking distance of his shop conveniently. A shop that isn't particularly financially successful.
Grant has a couple of failed marriages to his name and lives in a terraced house with a rather scruffy, yet likeable Welsh lodger Spike (Rhys Ifans).
The film has all the traits of the rom-com film at hand. You could say it is split into three distinct acts:
1. Boy Meets Girl
2. Boy loses girl
3. Boy wins her back and everybody lives happily ever after!
The boy in question is really a man, Thacker! Although Grant plays Thacker with his usual rather tedious surreal but nice attitude. He's done it in several of his films before and after.
The girl, or lady is successful Hollywood actress Anna Scott played by Julia Roberts.
Now the meet-cute scene is classic rom-com staple. Scott is in London and happens to browse the bookshelves of Thacker's book shop. Although his initial attempts at link-selling leave a lot to be desired!
All I can explain about the scene is surreal but nice!
Grant struggles against the media frenzy that follows Scott and her movie enterouge, at one point pretending to be from Horse and Hound magazine!
Thacker introduces Scott to his wacky relatives/friends at dinner. The supporting cast here includes the likes of Hugh Bonneville.
Now there are obstacles to the relationship developing. Not least the fame and 'adulation' that follows Scott at every turn. The media frenzy and tabloid revelations about old videos.
The obstacles also come in the form of a supposed relationship with a fellow actor, cue a cameo by Alec Baldwin.
Scott seemingly has little independance but shows Thacker a good time. In one scene breaking into a Notting Hill square garden over locked railings whilst Thacker struggles ala Alan Partridge!
The casting is a high point of the film. Grant is a regular at these roles throughout his career and Roberts probably had her most successful role to date in Pretty Woman.
Rather than a gay best friend, Thacker confides his concerns to his relatives/friends including Ifans who is funny as Spike.
Now Thacker loses Scott whilst she faces her media demons and cross Atlantic way of life. Cue a musical montage scene where Grant walks through the Notting Hill market to his shop through several changing seasons to depict the passage of time. For the musical geeks out there the track in question is Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
The soundtrack also features some brothers Gibb input and Ronan Keating.
Thacker faces his moment of despair around the 3/4 point of the movie toward the end of the second act.
The final act sees Grant racing through London traffic aided by his friends to reach Scdott's latest press conference at the Savoy Hotel. Horse and Hound is back!
The inevitable outpouring of love occurs and Thacker and Scott appear to live happily ever after!
The best romance movie ever made!
Such a charming movie. Great dialogue, not the typical dialogue you get in romantic comedies, but a dialogue that feels real that makes the characters feel normal everyday people. A very interesting plot that has you excited for the entire movie. A feel good film, and very entertaining. A charming young Hugh Grant and a flawless young Julia Roberts. Such a charming pairing! I loved the Britishness of it all. This felt so much different from the classical boy meets girl type of romantic movie. My cynical little heart may not believe in a happy ending for this particular story, but honestly I cannot deny that this movie's got charm! One of the best the genre has to offer.
Loved it...especially the supporting players...very clever and heart warming.
might vary and fluctuate..
Notting Hill is a character driven rom-com about an ordinary bookkeeper that falls in love with a highly controversial celebrity. As such genre requires, the chemistry among the lead cast is out of the park whose credit undeniably goes to the stellar performances.
Despite of ticking for around two hours, the feature is immensely busy with characters and their sub-plots which is completely competent to the core. The slick humor that is imputed with such nuance that it never feels forced and the tale flows fluently in front of us.
Addition to that, it never goes cheesy or sketchy or unnecessarily poignant to manipulate and draw out emotions through it. Curtis, the writer had few windows to manipulate the viewers with the help of his pathos characters but instead keeps the priority of storytelling up front.
The writing is sharp, adaptive and gripping with a humane touch that helps keep its pragmatic characters more grounded. The music plays a major role in here with some aptly installed songs that elevates the momentum and doesn't stretch its way too. A decent background score, fine editing, casual costume designing but is unfortunately short on cinematography.
It is shot beautifully with light and breezy environment that is appealing to the viewers from the first frame and is maintained with flirty talks and actually stardom. As mentioned earlier, the performance objective is safe and sound with Grant's sensible and hilarious performance and Robert's emotionally challenged one that is supported amazingly by Ifans and Bonneville.
The director Michelle's execution might vary and fluctuate but the script by Curtis picks it up every time it falls down. Few hilarious one-liners, complex characters and stellar performances are the high points of the feature.
Notting Hill is the card from the deck where there resided such multiple magical rom-coms which at this era seems to go extinct.