Notting Hill (1999)

Directed by
Roger Michell

Released in 1999, this hugely popular romcom, produced by the team behind Four Weddings And A Funeral, won the Bafta Audience Award and an Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.

Divorcee William Thacker (Hugh Grant) runs an unprofitable bookshop in a trendy London neighbourhood, which attracts American movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) as a customer. Minutes later they collide in the street, William accidentally covering her in orange juice. He invites her to his flat to clean up, and she impulsively kisses him before leaving.

When William's idle flatmate Spike (Rhys Ifans) fails to give him a message from Anna, William wonders if she has tried to contact him. Days later, they finally arrange a date, but William is forced to pose as a journalist to meet her, and then picks up the pieces after the tabloids publish nude shots of Anna as a teenager, forcing her to seek refuge back at his flat. The next morning, with the area swamped with reporters, Anna accuses William of kiss-and-tell betrayal and leaves. William must summon all his charm, ingenuity and patience if there is to be a happy ending...

Richard Curtis's script is a litany of one-liners balanced by a commentary on the pressures of fame: "I've been on a diet since I was 19," complains the svelte Julia, aware of Hollywood's body fascism. Ironically, Rhys Ifans pays this no notice, spends all but one scene with a Woodbine and workman's arse, and steals the film. Grant's patrician charm is also undeniable and the film went on to become the biggest British movie of all time, with $300 million in global receipts.

Written by

Genre: Film

Production Year: 1999

4/5 Stars

Classification: 15 Certificate

Filmed in Colour


Image for Julia RobertsJulia Roberts...Anna Scott
Image for Hugh GrantHugh Grant...William Thacker
Richard McCabe...Tony Crowe
Image for Rhys IfansRhys Ifans...Spike
James Dreyfus...Martin
Image for Dylan MoranDylan Moran...Rufus the Thief
Roger Frost...Annoying Customer
Henry Goodman...Ritz Concierge
Image for Julian Rhind-TuttJulian Rhind-Tutt...'Time Out' Journalist
Lorelei King...Karen Anna's Publicist
Image for John ShrapnelJohn Shrapnel...P.R. Chief
Image for Clarke PetersClarke Peters...'Helix' Lead Actor
Arturo Venegas...Foreign Actor
Yolanda Vasquez...Interpreter
Image for Mischa BartonMischa Barton...American Starlet