Notting Hill Dvd

Written by Sarah Provost
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Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, two of the most eminently likable actors we have, are a marvelous match in Notting Hill. William is a relentlessly ordinary bookshop owner in London, and Anna is a mega movie star from America. Can two such different people make their love work? As in any romantic comedy, the answer is yes, but not without a lot of obstacles.

They meet a couple of times and finally admit they're in love. William takes her to his sister's birthday party, where she meets his extended family and large circle of friends. Their easy acceptance of her allows her to enjoy an "ordinary" evening, something she hasn't experienced in a long time.

But then her reel life intrudes, complete with obnoxious movie star boyfriend, a role that fits Alec Baldwin's on-screen persona like a glove. All the smaller roles are very well cast, especially Rhys Ifans as William's loony Welsh roommate, Spike. Richard Curtis, who wrote the screenplay for Four Weddings and a Funeral, displays the same expert touch in this script.

A Fairy Tale Romance

Grant is self-effacing and funny, Roberts is charming and funny, and the romantic comedy is witty and light, without too much sugar. In fact, there are some scenes that show a rather bleak view of being a star. Despite the fact that it conforms to all the conventions of the genre, the intelligent script and the actors' sincerity raise this film several levels above the ordinary.

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