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Notting Hill DVD

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Went to this with Christy and Amy.  I don't mind a chick-flick fluff film once in awhile.

The previews tell most of the story.  We first meet a few of Hugh Grant's odd friends.  Then they bump into each other and there's a spark.  They fumble around a bit and then there's a first date, where we meet more of Hugh's friends and family.  They throw a couple of twists in there to turn the relationship off a couple of times.  And they show passage of time after each of those incidents.  A nice verisimiltude touch, I thought.

One repeated plot device that I didn't like was Grant's character telling a little white lie and getting himself into an awkward situation where he felt he had to continue the lie.  Those sorts of things always make me want to yell, "Just tell the truth and get on with it."  That device is rarely very clever, just uncomfortable.

Another minor irritation was several super-close-up shots.  This has become a really annoying technique in many of today's films.  We were nearly late for the movie so we had to sit up front, and it's a bit jarring to have that large of a face on such a close screen.

They did try to show a bit about the trials of being world famous.  Being on an eternal diet, and therefore eternally hungry.  Plastic surgery.  Every spat with your boy/girlfriend in the papers.  The inevitable fall from fame and the long aftermath.  But the don't dwell on any of it and drag the movie down.

Christy pointed out how silly they made Julia's movies-in-a-movie.  They wanted to make certain that they didn't make those more interesting than the movie we were there to see.

Beth loved this film.  I'm surprized anyone could have that strong of a reaction about it.

High points:
Julia Robert
A few good jokes based on the roommate
The friends were mostly believable
A bit of a look into the trials of being famous
Interesting changing seasons technique to show passage of time
Low points:
White lies led to awkward situations
Super-close-ups

Basically, this movie is just what you would expect, harmless fluff.  On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Cable with Dinner.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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