Movie Review: Notting Hill (1999)

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Movie Review: Notting Hill (1999)
written by: meltrosz

Notting Hill is a 1999 romantic comedy film starring Julia Roberts and everybody's favorite British romantic comedy actor of the 90s, Hugh Grant. I watched this during the last Valentines season for the first time ever in my life because of Hugh Grant and that iconic "just a girl" quote. The story is about an ordinary man who is the owner of a travel bookstore in Notting Hill and falls in love with the most popular female actress in the world. The comedy throughout the film was superb such as the recurring joke about the "Horse & Hound" magazine and the meta-references to popular actresses of that time like Meg Ryan and Demi Moore.

However, what I disliked about this film is the romance. It was great at first while seeing them slowly fall in love and they're doing things they've never done before. All their interactions were great - except for their first meeting where they kissed for no reason aside from the fact that they're both hot. However, it was later revealed that Julia Robert's character actually had a boyfriend who suddenly popped up to visit her in London on the same night she was going to invite Hugh Grant upstairs. The boyfriend mistakes Grant for room service and orders him to take out the trash, which Grant does and even acts as if he's really room service. Afterwards, Grant and Roberts don't see each other for several months but she was always on his mind. One day, Roberts pops up in Grant's front door because a nude scandal of hers was spreading in London and she needed a place to hide in. She stays the night and they make love, and just when you think everything's going to get better for them, the media finds out where they were and camped outside Grant's house and got a photo of him in his underwear. Grant shakes it off but Roberts takes it very seriously and storms out of the house while blaming Grant for tipping the media. Time passes again where the two don't meet and Grant learns one day that Roberts is in London filming for a movie and he immediately rushes off to see her. She takes him backstage to wait where he is overhears Roberts talking to her co-star and denies knowing Grant. Heartbroken, Grant seemingly finally given up that there is some good in Roberts until she comes to see him in his bookshop and gives him the "just a girl" quote. At first, Grant is unaffected and is resolved to not let his heart get broken again, but after thinking about it with his friends and with the help of an original copy of his favorite painting, he realizes he was a "daft prick" and runs to apologize to her.

Basically, I spent the entire movie being annoyed at Roberts' character for being insensitive and manipulative while Grant's character was whipped and gullible. Although, it is kinda realistic because many are idiots when it comes to romance. But seeing everything from a third person's perspective makes it very annoying and cringe to watch. If this was a satire on how idiotic some people are, then I think the film accomplished this well. But if they were going for something to make people be inspired for love, I for one was not. Nevertheless "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her" remains to be one of the greatest romance movie quotes of all time, but I still won't watch this again.

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I actually really like Notting Hill, but feel that if I were to look at it critically, I'd probably end up hating it.
Note to self, don't review your favourite movies lest they turn out to have a nonsensical plot that you didn't pay attention when watching it beforehand...

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