Notting Hill is a typical example of a Richard Curtis film. This is due to many factors, including the basic storyline, the roles of the characters, the actors/actresses, and the scenery.
The basic storyline is a typical rom-com storyline; it has two people who fall in love, break up, and get back together again. William Thacker (Hugh Grant) and Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) meet up in a bookshop, but nothing happens between them. They then meet in the street after he accidentally spills orange juice down her top. He then takes her back to his place so she can change, and that’s where the love begins. They then break up further on in the film, and when she asks to get back together he turns her down because he thought it was the right thing to do, but then he talks with his mates about and he realises that he made a mistake. They all help him get to the hotel where she is staying, but she checked out and went to a press conference, and the have a car chase through the busy streets of London in a Volvo, and one of his friends gets out of the car to stop traffic at a busy junction, where in real life he would have just been run over. He eventually catches up with her and speaks to her, and they then decide to get back together, and it has a conventional happy ending with a wedding.
It begins with William Thacker walking down the high street of Notting Hill, past the famous Notting Hill Market. He owns a travel bookshop, which makes almost no money, meaning Thacker is in debt. It is unrealistic, because he lives in a small house in Notting Hill, which would cost him far more than he is earning in real life.
Whilst he is at the bookshop, his colleague offers to buy him a cappuccino. This shows that it is a cosmopolitan city because we are English, and we are drinking drinks from other countries. When he buys the drinks, the man who serves him looks to be Eastern European. This is realistic as it shows a multi-ethnic Britain. As he walks back we see big “wheely bins” and some rubbish on the floor next to them. We also see a red phone box, and a red bus, both iconic symbols of London.
Another typical thing we see in a Richard Curtis film is a dinner party. They are always candle lit and made to look romantic. These are always held in a large house, and normally 5 or 6 people attend. The people who own the house must have very highly paid jobs, because it is a large house in Notting Hill, so it would be worth at least ï¿½1 million. In their house the have a large welsh dresser, with china plates on display, and they have an antique clock on their mantelpiece.
All of the people in this film seem to have large, posh houses, and none of them are ever seen doing any work, except when Thacker is in the bookshop, but he didn’t really have to do much in that job. He is made to seem educated, because he discusses literature, his shop sells books, he reads broadsheet newspapers, and he also has art in his flat, although he doesn’t have a job an educated man would have. If he were really this educated, then he would perhaps be a banker, or a lawyer.
In this film, Julia Roberts plays a Hollywood actress, who is constantly followed by the paparazzi. She and Hugh Grant both speak perfect English, although she has an American accent.
At one point in the film, there is a short montage of Thacker walking through Notting Hill in the different seasons of the year, with different weather. When he leaves his house, it is raining in the autumn. This is typical English autumn weather. Then it moves onto winter, and it is snowing. Snow is romantic, and puts the picture in peoples’ minds that in England it snows all through the winter.
It is unrealistic because at one point in the film, he has had his girlfriend come to his house, and afterwards, he just let her walk out onto the dark streets of Notting Hill at night, which in real life would be a dangerous thing to do, because although it is a very expensive place to live, it is also a very rough neighbourhood, and there might be danger of her getting mugged.
So it is a typical example of a Richard Curtis film, because England is portrayed as a ‘perfect world’, with no crime, no-one has to work, and everyone is rich and lives in big houses and holds regular candle lit dinner parties.