Notting Hill Movie Review
The deceptively simple plot begins when uber-famous film star Anna Scott (Roberts) winds up in William's (Grant) book shop on Notting Hill, something of a British cross between a pre-Disney Times Square and a Moroccan street market. After William accidentally dumps orange juice down Anna's front, an on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again love affair blossoms.
Using Anna's (and Julia's) celebrity as a catalyst, the plot is propelled along by run-ins with the press and paparazzi, the duplicity "required" of a big film star, secret love affairs on the side, world travel, and buttinsky PR flacks. It's amazing that Anna comes off as likeable at all, but with EveryBrit Grant as her foil, it's hard not to fall for her in the end. Of course.
So far, sounds like an everyday comedy - but Notting Hill wins its real points in the details. Director Michell's London is every bit is real as a Beatles album. And, big surprise, it's the cast of completely unknown supporting characters that really carry the film. Special kudos to Rhys Ifans as Spike, William's pig of a roommate, who carries large chunks of the film on charm (or lack thereof) alone. I give him an early Best Supporting Actor nod.
If you like lighthearted romances, Notting Hill is for you. The women in our audience (who comprised about 90% of it) would seem to agree. I can't complain, either. I mean, it's Julia Roberts. How can you not fall for her?
Breakfast is served.