Go to Homepage   Notting Hill: Romancing the Cute


I'll be the first to admit that I have a huge crush on Freddie Prinze, Jr. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- if he had a British accent, he'd be cherry. 

Thanks to Notting Hill, I now have a plan to make all my dreams of Freddie (except, maybe, the accent) come true. I'm going to need your help, though, because I need capital to start up some insipid little store that sells… I don't know, left-handed can openers or something. I'm going to open it in London, and I'm going to sit and drool over Freddie's picture until he shows up. You know, sort of like Field of Dreams, but with better accents. 

Hey, it worked for Hugh Grant. 

That's how Notting Hill starts. Grant's this way-normal schlub, William Thacker, who lives and works in Notting Hill, a part of London with lots of stands selling left-handed can openers. One day, into his travel bookstore walks Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), Hollywood's biggest actress. Well, with the exception of Shelley Winters, but I digress. 

Somehow, they fall in love. How, you ask? Wait, you're asking me? What are you, stupid? I don't know anything -- unless you count that thing I can do with my tongue and a cherry stem, but that doesn't require any actual brains. You just need a few spare months of free time, and a doctor who's willing to put up with fixing your sprained tongue every other day. 

But of course, the usual relationship problems arise: sex scandals, famous boyfriends, paparazzi in the toilet. And somewhere in the middle of this, William's friends and sloppy flatmate (Rhys Ifans) do what any normal people would do in their situation and scream whenever Anna leaves the room. 

Is it good? Let me put it this way -- once again, I am left feeling mopey that I am without a significant other. Boy, is this sucker romantic! And the best part of it is that you can sit back, close your eyes, and pretend it's you and your imaginary cuddle bunny. Or you could, if it wasn't for the music. Whoever put together the soundtrack should be taken out back and pistol-whipped. 

So what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, that store I want to set up. If I want it to work, I'm going to need lots of your money. And I'm going to have to be witty. Um, I think I can fake that. I'm going to have to be kind of cute, too -- though that might require a few hundreds… of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery. But hey, gang, it's tax deductible! I think. 

What? You want to know about the movie? Fine, the cast rocks. I'm having a vision of Julia Roberts holding a Golden Globe in December. Hugh Grant is just cute as a button, and does this dress make me look fat? Because I'm going to wear it to the grand opening of my store. Or should I wear the red satin number? 

Oh, and does anybody want to buy $100,000 worth of left-handed can openers? 

Jennifer Matarese

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