As a rule I hate romantic comedies. I try to like them, but they just insult me; until I can't stand the thought of another one rising from the written graveyard that is the Hollywood romance and comedy scene.
Not Notting Hill.We all know the basic plotline. Boy meets girl or should we say that "there's just a girl standing in front of a boy begging him to love her." Doubtless you've seen this line tugging at your heart strings from the trailer, don't let it discourage you from seeing Notting Hill (as it nearly did me.) Its not the intellect insulting tripe usually pedaled, and although it does leave some holes, all in all Notting Hill was a pleasure to see.
Robert's Anna Scott is a bit of a bear to bare. Julia does a tremendous job of playing Anna (although I'm sure she has the crib notes) its just that I didn't sympathize much with the character. The silent stare is wearing. Its a relief to see Hugh Grant in a role that has the flavor of Four Weddings (no coincidence, both films have the same producers.) A fully developed character whose charm lays not in the stuttering & fluttering, but in the genuine feeling Grant's William Thacker displays. Grant really is fun to watch in a role that lets him portray a modern Londoner--with what I have seen so far--a role to which he is well suited. What sets Notting Hill apart is its outstanding character performances. From the much ballyhoo'd (and deservedly so) Rhys "The Masturbating Welshman" Ifans, to the positively luminous Gina McKee. Emma Chambers as Thacker's sister Honey is marvelously gushy and the rest of the supporting cast (Hugh Bonneville, James Dreyfus, Dylan Moran, Tim McInnerny and Julian Rhind-Tutt) are what gives the film its staying power.
A few words about the editing. Most of you will notice the interesting seasons-changing montage. I enjoyed that. I did not like Hugh Grant being cut into a large crowd scene and a myriad of other editing quirks. We're not really sure where the character Tony (McCabe) fits in. The film could have been much tighter. But if its romantic comedy you're looking for (and you can't stomach the teen romantic comedy genre) Notting Hill is a safe bet.Its the supporting cast that makes Notting Hill stand out--don't miss the quirky cameo by a grimy Alec Baldwin.