Film / Notting Hill

A 1999 Romantic Comedy starring Julia Roberts as staggeringly successful movie star Anna Scott who meets travel bookstore owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) in the eponymous area of London and begins a somewhat rocky relationship with him. They want to be together, but her mega-stardom is constantly intruding on their happiness. Along the way to love, there’s plenty of quirk and British accents to add a little fun and flavor.

The movie is notable for taking several shots at show business, in particular how the movie business treats female stars.

This film provides examples of:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Anna asking William for another chance doesn't seem particularly emotional at first, but given her personality, it speaks volumes, as does her thoughtful present for him. Which makes his rejection all the more painful.
  • Babies Ever After: Implied in the ending shot.
  • Beta Couple: Max and Bella.
  • Bookends:
    • The movie starts with a montage of Anna on the red carpet and ends the movie with the same.
    • The last shot of the movie is in the place they kissed after the birthday party.
  • Bookworm: William is this to an extent. He owns a travel bookstore and he also suggests that Anna do a movie adaptation of a Henry James novel. Which she does.
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: "I'm sure you meant no harm, and I'm sure it was all just friendly banter and I'm sure you all have dicks the size of peanuts. Enjoy your meal the tuna's really good."
  • Celebrity Is Overrated
    Anna: You know the fame isn't real.
  • Chick Flick: With a distinct 90s feel no less.
  • Crash-Into Hello: William and Anna met when she bought a book at his store, but they literally run into each other later that day in the street and he spills orange juice all over her.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Oh, Spike. Honey is this to an extent as well, but Spike just takes the cake.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right / Dumbass Has a Point: Played hilariously towards the end. When Will tells his friends that he turned down Anna Scott, they all attempt to comfort him and consent that he made the right decision. Cue Spike's reaction.
    Spike: (arriving) I was called. I came.
    Honey: William was just telling us that he turned down Anna Scott.
    Spike: (gapes at William for a moment) You daft prick!
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Anna.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Bella, Max's wife.
  • The Ditz: Spike.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Spike has a few including "You are the most beautiful woman in the world... fancy a fuck?"
  • Horrible Hollywood: Anna says that Hollywood is a materialistic superficial world full of former boyfriends who mistreated her, painful plastic surgery operations to give her her looks, etc.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Spike and Honey.
  • Informed Ability: Subverted. Anna is the most popular actress working in the Hollywood of the movie and while we never see her act very much, Anna herself claims that she's not very good.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: Anna took some pictures in her younger days that she very much regrets.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Spike.
  • Lap Pillow
  • Misery Poker: After a dinner during which Anna meets all of William's friends, everyone in attendance competes for the last brownie by detailing the various ways in which they themselves are the saddest person at the table.
  • Monochrome Casting: Aside two of Anna's co-stars, there are no racial minorities to be seen. What makes this stand out is that Notting Hill in real life is known for its black community.
    • Parodied here.
    • Comments he got about this made Richard Curtis to be more circumspect and present a more multi-ethnic cast in his next film, Love Actually.
  • Nice Guy: Hugh Grant. As well as his roommate Spike.
  • Old Shame: (invoked) How Anna feels about some risqué pictures of her. And possibly how she feels about her on-again/off-again movie-star boyfriend.
  • Open the Door and See All the People: Spike with the press.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
    William: Is this your first film?
    Child Actress: Well ... actually, it's my 22nd!
    William: Any favorites among the 22?
    Child Actress: Working with Leonardo.
    William: DaVinci?
    Child Actress: DiCaprio.
    William: Of course. And is ... is he your favorite Italian director?
    • Also, an In-Universe example; Bernie's inability to recognize Anna at first.
  • Precision F-Strike: Honey's memorable reaction upon meeting Anna the first time: "Oh, holy fuck!"
  • Race for Your Love: William and his friends race around trying to find Anna before she leaves for America. Do they find in her time? Of course they do.
  • Space Clothes: One of Anna's movies has her as a retro-space babe in a flattering astronaut suit.
  • Stepford Smiler: As her profession requires, Anna often has to smile at uncomfortable or unpleasant situations. Most notably when William turns her down after her emotionally baring herself to try to get another chance with him, she smiles widely, though she's clearly pained and heartbroken.
  • Stock British Phrases: It is set in England after all.
  • Tabloid Melodrama: As might be expected for a movie-star, the tabloids swarm all over Anna throughout the movie.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Spike the "masturbating Welshman".
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: Two misunderstandings — first, Anna believing that William had betrayed her by going to the press; and second, William overhearing comments Anna made while filming.
  • Trailer Spoof: An excessively meta version; one trailer pretended to be for Austin Powers (itself well known for this device).
  • Uptown Girl: Anna for William.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last of William's blind dates turns out to be a perfect match for him. After her scene, no further mention is made of her.
    • As the conversation with Max and Bella immediately afterwards shows, William considers Rosie "perfect", but not a match for him, so it already is clear that he has no intention of picking up on her suggestion to meet again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "You daft prick."