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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.05%
Worth A Look42.11%
Average: 18.05%
Pretty Bad: 12.03%
Total Crap: 9.77%

7 reviews, 91 user ratings

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Notting Hill
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by Erik Childress

"Julia Roberts and Romantic Comedies - A Can't Miss"
4 stars

Notting Hill (***) – Julia Roberts should be told to make nothing but romantic comedies for the rest of her career. If you look at her track record, how many of her dramatic performances do you real remember and of those that you remember, how many did you real like other than perhaps Stepmom and Steel Magnolias. Mary Reilly, Michael Collins, The Pelican Brief, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dying Young, Something to Talk About, and Conspiracy Theory. Any of those performances truly Oscar-worthy or really any good. Now the romantic comedies. Mystic Pizza, Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and now, Notting Hill, which is one of her best.

During the film I couldn’t help but notice at how often I was genuinely laughing. The movie is very funny and that humor truly overcomes most of the quibbles I have with the screenplay. There is literally a laugh every few minutes in this film and makes a wonderful time at the movies even if it is about 15 minutes too long. My main problem with the screenplay however is obviously not the intelligent nature of most of the dialogue but that it doesn’t take enough time to set up the fact that the Julia Roberts character (albeit basically playing herself) is such a well-known movie star other than the opening credit montage. Other than that it’s basically just reduced to people asking for autographs and being in awe of her presence. Despite her top billing. Julia really is the second fiddle in what is essentially the story of Hugh Grant’s character. I kept thinking of The American President and the brilliance of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay which so carefully set up the fact that Michael Douglas was President that we accepted it as if it were a fact. That film also went deep into exploring why a President would have so much trouble publicly dating. Notting Hill has scenes like that, but they seem more like throwaways – obligatory scenes that we expect but aren’t really explored in depth. The movie is also trying to play both sides of reality and fantasy. Most romantic comedies by nature are entertaining fantasies where we assume and most of the time expect our lovelorn couple to get together in the end – but by setting the film with realistic overtones – it takes the risk of just being plain phony. However, we grant the film its premise and the power of the chemistry between Roberts and Grant instantly draws us in and never lets go even if they do have to go through Screenplay 101 where an obligatory break-up scene must be written in somewhere down the line – in this case a very distracting one as where I understood part of her paranoid reaction – I didn’t buy the way she treats Grant after all they had been through. It’s a complete 180 from the whole reason she fell for him in the first place. Another early scene depicts a fun cameo from a famous actor whom will remain nameless here. It’s fun to see him in the movie – yet the movie doesn’t really identify him until later. During the one scene he’s in – we’re not sure if he’s supposed to be playing himself or just a version of himself and that gives one pause during those five minutes.

These setbacks aside I had a great time seeing this film Saturday night. The chemistry is right, the screenplay is another winner from the writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, who fills the story with numerous likable supporting characters and more single laughs than any film released so far this year. Hopefully Julia Roberts will make a note of it.

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originally posted: 02/16/00 09:04:02
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User Comments

8/01/18 Suzanne Two gorgeous stars - just love this movie 5 stars
8/22/17 Louise Good on you, Godfather - I'm also a Roberts-hater! And that huge mouth - ugh! 2 stars
11/19/12 Meredith B One of the most romantic movies ever! 4 stars
11/18/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
10/04/08 Iris Verna Forever found myself reading title as"Nothing Hill".And actually there's nothing much to it 2 stars
2/25/07 Bitchflaps What a waste of ta... oh hang on. 1 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday If nothing else, watch this for Rhys Ifans and Emma Chambers. 5 stars
2/12/07 johnnyfog Roberts didn't even TRY!! "I'm just a girl" scenee is overrated 2 stars
12/29/06 Jennifer Raven heart warming and funny 5 stars
6/27/06 chienne Have to agree Roberts rates w'Kidman on the Bad Actress O Meter Love Grant tho 3 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz First saw Gina McKee here. Underated actress. 4 stars
2/14/06 Anthony Feor Just another Love film 2 stars
9/28/05 Michael Weak Story ... hard to watch at times ... dishonest moments were difficult 3 stars
12/04/04 linds. its a gret romantic comedy 5 stars
10/23/04 R Smith Tremendous film of he year.www.netwebresearch.som/servicesview 5 stars
8/19/04 Peter B. Charming fairy tale! 4 stars
7/26/04 Melissa A modern-day Cinderella story--in reverse 4 stars
3/26/04 bikehorn Frustrating to watch, although Hugh Grant is great. Julia Roberts roll is her standard fair 3 stars
3/17/04 Donna Gelpigi C'mon Erik Childress, CONSPIRACY THEORY was JR's best movie; much better'n this. 3 stars
12/18/03 Mehershad Great movie worth the time with your loved one with a lot of popcorn. 5 stars
11/08/03 Littlepurch Quite a few notches below 4 weddings and a funeral but not so bad. Far too long tho! 3 stars
1/19/03 Prasad awesome 5 stars
11/23/02 CVJ this was good but watch four weddings and a funeral instead 4 stars
9/24/02 I Can't Swim Movie star or not, I'd have to tell her to fuck off if she was that rude to me..3 times!!!! 1 stars
5/12/02 R.W. Welch Sags noticeably in the middle but manages some charm early and late. 3 stars
3/31/02 Jenny Tullwartz Guess papparazzi can really be so menacing: issue clouds otherwise enjoyable escapist fluff 3 stars
1/06/02 Andrew Carden A Waste Of Grant and Robert's Talents...Boring Screenplay. 1 stars
11/28/01 ferring why is he attracted to such a snotty boring bitch that sulks a lot? 1 stars
11/06/01 daniboy nice, harmless film. hugh grant is really funny (although he always plays himself) 3 stars
6/20/01 kate this movie is terrible 1 stars
1/14/01 Avenger Girl The movie was too slow, and predictable. Julia SUX, Hugh is fab 1 stars
12/23/00 stacey james I thought this film was absolutely delightful and Julia outshon Hugh 100% 5 stars
11/21/00 Connoisseur Melissa doesn't know a FUCK about good movies (no offense). 1 stars
9/10/00 Rosalie Coleman It could have been better. 3 stars
7/18/00 Matthew Bartley Neither funny nor romantic but Ifans is excellent 2 stars
7/15/00 Terrie Smith Predictable material but the film has charm thanks to the two leads. Rhys Ifans is good. 4 stars
7/13/00 Monday Morning Kind of reminds me of when I was dating Meg Ryan - fun but surreal, ya know. 4 stars
7/10/00 Elvisfan I dislike the leads so I was surprised I liked it as much as I did 4 stars
4/17/00 Melissa Loved it. Absolutely loved it. 5 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski I can relate...well, no, I can't actually. But fuck off, doesn't matter...:-) 4 stars
2/08/00 Richard Wright Pathetic, cliched and maudlin rom-com with obvious jokes and a stupid screenplay. 2 stars
1/03/00 Queens My girlfriend and I made love during it...her mom walked in on us, but she was drunk. 5 stars
12/07/99 Corey and Rachel It was a very pleasant movie. I was surprised that I liked it, but I really did. 4 stars
11/19/99 Craig and Taryn Predictable but woth a look when the local picture theatre in Samoa charges $1.50 for a tic 4 stars
11/18/99 Matthew Smith the funniest film of the year, Rhys Ifans steals the film. 5 stars
10/27/99 Katherine I have really loved this movie.. I have seen it 3 times! 5 stars
10/03/99 Britney Great movie! I loved it! 5 stars
9/26/99 voyant The readers of Horse & Hound adore this picture. 5 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread The end was a bit contrived, still a good unsappy movie 4 stars
8/14/99 Deanna The supporting cast makes this worthwhile. A matinee w/your honey movie. 4 stars
8/03/99 Nigel Herringbone III julia roberts is stupid and ugly 1 stars
8/02/99 Weird Andy The anger I expressed toward this cutesy shitfest scared my date. she won't answer my calls 1 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan A surprise to me....I like this film. Worth watching once. 4 stars
7/26/99 Suzanne Lame, uninspired, stupid, insulting. 1 stars
7/22/99 Suzz Can you say bored to tears? 2 stars
7/15/99 jvt Three words - unconvincing, long, and predictable 2 stars
7/11/99 Cherry Incredibley romantic & touching. Julia & Hugh make a handsome pair 4 stars
7/05/99 Keven Franks It ended just a little too perfectly. 4 stars
7/03/99 Daria Very enjoyable, but I didn't really like Julia Roberts' character. 4 stars
7/02/99 Chel Moore Laughed my ass off 4 stars
6/25/99 Annearchy, Damme, Satanne I love Hugh Grant. Julia Roberts' mouth is so big I thought she bit the camera. 2 stars
6/23/99 Russell Funny, light and fluffy movie 4 stars
6/23/99 Tony Daquano Shit this sucked it had no feeling, very cliched and it was not even funny 1 stars
6/22/99 Negative Creep something worth watching on a rainy afternoon. 4 stars
6/20/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! SLOW AS ANYTHING.....Hugh Grant got on my nerves,but nice sappy movie 3 stars
6/20/99 john Very enjoyable 4 stars
6/19/99 Lindsay Faboo!!! 5 stars
6/19/99 Steve Kelley Disappointing. I expected more than Julia Roberts' documentary. 2 stars
6/18/99 naomib pretty nice romance 4 stars
6/15/99 David A good, fun, light romance, that touches on issues of celebrity that I hadn't seen before. 4 stars
6/14/99 Beachlovr9 Cute, funny movie. 4 stars
6/13/99 Steve Holyer An emotional roller coaster, nice piece of escapism for a Sunday night feel good movie 5 stars
6/13/99 Debbie Vanden Dungen Surprisingly delicious! I had fully belly laughter with tears! 4 stars
6/12/99 Melissa A genuinely charming romantic comedy. I will probably go see it again. Loved it. 5 stars
6/10/99 Rob not Rob Avoid at all costs 1 stars
6/10/99 Keeper Great movie; laughed my ass off; acting is awesome. Has only one or two "stupid" moments. 5 stars
6/08/99 pipeman Gives new meaning to the word tedious. Possibly the biggest waste of celluloid EVER! 1 stars
6/07/99 Empress Hugh Grant=pink/light blue dress shirts...plain and simple..whoppsie daisies! 4 stars
6/06/99 hum charming. a pleasure 4 stars
6/05/99 Gasgano My Best Friends Wedding was better. 3 stars
6/05/99 Rachel It was a great movie, the ideal romantic comedy! 5 stars
6/05/99 Country girl I almost peed my pants laughing!!! I want those t-shirts! 5 stars
6/04/99 DM A real darling of a film, quality sequel 5 stars
6/04/99 The Graduate Genuinely likable. Ensemble cast are a quirky and hilarious bunch. Go Spike! 5 stars
6/03/99 Malbert Some funny parts...but not as good as everyone is saying 3 stars
6/02/99 Tristynn liked it. should have developed their relationship a bit more, but still entertaining.. 4 stars
5/31/99 Katie Pretty good romantic comedy, but no Four Weddings and a Funeral. 4 stars
5/30/99 Mrs. Moviegoer The best romantic comedy I've seen in ages. 5 stars
5/29/99 Mr Showbiz No surprise it entertains, but it's not the classic it should have been. 4 stars
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Directed by
  Roger Michell

Written by
  Richard Curtis

  Hugh Grant
  Julia Roberts
  Hugh Bonneville
  Mischa Barton
  Tim McInnerny

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