For this week’s Late Late Review Tom’s watched Richard Curtis’ Four Weddings follow up – two decades after its release (about time, right?) – when love actually came to a London book shop opener (Hugh Grant) in the form of a Hollywood actress (Julia Roberts). Awkwardness and hilarity ensues…
Release Date: 1999
Awards: Winner of the Audience Award for Most Popular Film at the 2000 BAFTAs, Best Comedy Film at the British Comedy awards and Best Soundtrack at the Brit Awards, and nominated for a smattering of Golden Globes.
Rating: 7.1/10 from IMDb and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, a popular choice it seems!
Haven’t seen this one either? I’ve got you covered. Notting Hill resident and travel bookshop owner, Will Thacker (Hugh Grant), spills orange juice on world famous actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and romance ensues. To quote the Bard; “The course of true love did never run smooth” and that’s certainly true for these crazy kids too.
It shouldn’t need saying – but I’ll say it anyway – the film is unsurprisingly set in Notting Hill. Bet you didn’t guess that, did you? Anyway, Richard Curtis (who also did Four Weddings and a Funeral – not that I’ve seen it) was lying awake wondering what would happen if a celebrity and an average Joe tried to date. We’ve all done it, be honest. Anyway, he was living in Notting Hill at the time, and decided that it was the type of melting pot where anything could happen, so set the film there.
After the juice incident, Will invites Anna to his house to change, and she ends up giving him a snog. When she then invites him to see her at her hotel, Will accidentally ends up at a press junket for her new film and is forced to interview her in order to have a conversation… awkward. She then invites herself to his sister Honey (Emma Chambers of Vicar of Dibley fame)’s birthday party that night – these Hollywood stars really are rather confident…
His friends (featuring a young Hugh Bonneville, James Dreyfus and Gina McKee) react so perfectly to their friend bringing a celebrity as their date and were so wonderfully awkward that it made me stupidly happy. Honey deciding that she and Anna are now best friends and having an awkward bathroom encounter was incredibly endearing. Honestly, I love them all. They’re adorable.
Anna is a problematic character at times, but my god is Julia Roberts on form in this movie. The producers always had her as the number one choice for the role, never thinking she’d accept. As it was, she apparently read the script and said it was the best rom-com she’d ever read and absolutely had to be part of it.
Hugh Grant was a shoe in for Will after his appearance in Four Weddings, and it’s claimed that he and Richard Curtis were the perfect pairing, Curtis writing Grant best, and Grant performing Curtis’s lines best. It has to be said, Grant is at his peak floppy haired adorable dorkiness, and it works so well.
Basically, I loved this film. Its total cute British loveliness and I highly recommend it. You could say that I’m just a reviewer, standing in front of a reader, asking them to love this movie…
Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview