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Monday, 22 November 2010

NOTTING HILL - Surreal But Nice

"The world is no longer a romantic place. Some of its people still are however, and therein lies the promise."
-John Cage, in 'Ally McBeal'

NOTTING HILL is a great movie. It's exactly what a romantic comedy should be. Of course, we don't call movies like this great because it's not very cool; and we're all too busy watching French New Wave masterpieces; but when it comes down to it -- there isn't much that's better better than watching a rom-com that resonates, which they can occasionally do.

Of course, we love movies that challenge us -- but we normally want those challenges to be a complex plot or a surprise ending; and we look down upon a challenge which might be, 'to believe in love' or 'to be swept away in a nice story,' which is strange because these things are actually quite rare. But when we let our guard down at 11pm on a Monday night and throw on a DVD like this, we normally enjoy it. Or maybe I'm just talking for myself.

'Notting Hill' is not a movie that tries to rock the world of cinema or redefine the rom-com genre, yet it is a great example of why, when it really comes down to it, there isn't much better than a comedy that makes us care. After-all; the problems and concerns of our lives don't tend to be based on gun chases and explosions, sometimes we really just need to see two beautiful people falling in love; because it can give us hope.

We can all relate to William Thacker and Anna Scott. We're all either hoping for something more exciting to come along, or something to protect us from all the crazy madness going on. We can project all of that onto these characters as we indulge in their journey for two hours.

And that's essentially what a rom-com is; watching people live out our romantic fantasies a little more interestingly that we do in reality. In the movies, they climb into out-of-bounds-gardens with 'When You Say Nothing At All' on the soundtrack, whereas in reality a romance is sending a text message and waiting six hours for a response. In the movies, they meet at Rick's in Casablanca and get Sam to play it again, in real life we wait outside a bar in the rain while the one you were meeting is thirty minutes late because they just don't care about you as much as they would in the movies.

I always forget how much fun 'Notting Hill' is until I watch it again. The supporting cast are ALL absolutely HILARIOUS!

 So, yeah, I really like 'Notting Hill' and I'm sure some of you do, too, and many of you don't. What I like, is how old-fashioned it is. It's just a well told story, with some great comedic touches, and most importantly - a good heart. It doesn't try to overawe us with cleverness or impress us with coolness; it just feels real, and welcoming, like a good cup of English tea.

Care to share?

20 comments:

  1. surreal but nice but boring?

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  2. I LIKE!! haha...... We all wish for that special spark and all that sappy love that we see on romance flicks.
    well, life was never meant to be a movie anyway.we try, but we have always gotta bust our ass off to get a fraction of that 'happily ever after', but when we do, it is TOTALLY worth it:)

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  3. I LIKE!! haha...... We all wish for that special spark and all that sappy love that we see on romance flicks.
    well, life was never meant to be a movie anyway.we try, but we have always gotta bust our ass off to get a fraction of that 'happily ever after', but when we do, it is TOTALLY worth it:)

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  4. This is a fun film. Now you have me in the mood to watch a romantic comedy!

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  5. Notting Hill is a favourite. There's something about it, and that includes his roommate and his sister...

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  6. It's not really my cup of tea, but I agree with the rest of your premise. I have a soft spot for Music And Lyrics. Not every rom-com needs to have quite as much brainpower as Annie Hall.

    The thing that really bugs me about Notting Hill is that in it, at one point, Hugh Grant says "whoops-a-daisies", which is not actually a real phrase.

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  7. I love Notting Hill...then again, I'm a hopeless romantic. But I believe the simple comfort of love, to be loved, to fancy someone, laugh at their flaws, yet accept them is something we'd all want to possess.

    There's nothing wrong with liking romantic fantasies--it breaks up the monotony of everyday life.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  8. My favorite scene was when she came over for dinner, and they all talked about their insecurities for the last piece of brownie/chocolate desert. It was funny, real and touching and speak a universal truth about people - no one is perfect, and that's what makes them lovely.

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  9. My girlfriend absolutely adores this film - for what reason, I have no idea. I think Hugh Grant's trembling voice reverberates in her ear canals, which leads to a awful smile spreading across her face.

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  10. 'I'm just a girl, standing infront of a boy...'

    I Can't help but love this film. Like you say it's nothing groundbreaking, but it is exactly what i want to see, whenever i'm upset or feeling down about something. It's pure wish fulfilment. Sure it might be unrealistic, but who says everything has be true to life. We all dream of this happening, and who knows, it might. All it takes is one night, one oportunity :)

    w/b xxx

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  11. I detest most 'rom-coms' but ill admit Notting hill is great, it just does everything right, and its one for me you can watch again and again.

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  12. This is the only romantic comedy that actually has some real life event in it. I love Jennifer Aniston but I think most of the romantic comedy movies out there now are too much Rachel from Friends.
    I actually enjoyed Notting Hill.

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  13. I actually really like Notting Hill, and I'm not a RomCom kind of girl most of the time. But I love that Anna is an insecure bitch sometimes, and William is shy and kind of a screw-up, and I love the scene where they all go around the dinner table talking about who's life sucks more in order to get the last brownie and the couple reveals that they can't have a baby, amidst all the humor. It's an incredible scene, and just like life. The humor is always in that life is just so damn tragic. (I think the Brits understand that best.)

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  14. @Phoenix Agree re the Brits. Was stuck in a tiny hotel room with a great big screen the other day. And the only movie I could find was "Did you hear about the Morgans?" with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. And I just looked at a pic of the writer/director Marc Lawrence who looks very lovely, rom com material himself, so I'll whisper now, that I thought it was AWFUL. And I thought about Notting Hill & Love Actually, & decided that Brits do rom coms a whole lot better than Americans, a Hugh Grant rom com at least.

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  15. Definitely one of my favorites. "Whoopsie Daisies."

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  16. Hey Kid. I'm loving how freely you admitted to liking this film. I'm just starting a new series on my blog that has a lot to do with what you've just said (check out the intro here http://screenspeak.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-feature-battle-of-sexes.html and the first post here http://screenspeak.blogspot.com/2010/11/battle-of-sexes-expendables.html). If you're interested on doing a guest post on Notting Hill, or any other title, drop me an email :)

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  17. A great view on this movie, I saw it once with my mother, well she was the only one that would go with me, but lol it was still a good one.

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  18. I was about to write 'as far as romantic comedies go, I like Notting Hill'. No, that's not right. I like Notting Hill.

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  19. Hmmm what do i say.a little boring post.thats all

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  20. Nothing Hill deserves a tribute like this! Thank you.

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