Romance Could Happen to YOU too…
These days finding reasons to smile and laugh can be as hard as trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Luckily through my younger brother, Immie, – bless him – I have a copy of Nottinghill (1999)the movie starring American actress Julia Roberts and British actor Hugh Grant, and regardless of my mood or how many times I’ve seen it, which has been many times, it still makes me laugh and laugh out loud. The dry British humour never fails and its interplay with its rival Americanese makes me laugh each and every time.
I like romantic comedies. I am coming out. I won’t hide it anymore. Romantic comedies are a reminder to me one who is always so concerned about matters ever so serious that life is also equally if not more importantly about play, enjoying life and having fun with laughter being the main essential ingredient. The happiest people are those who have fun 80 percent of the time. Fun is possible in Politics, in real love. Romance is just as possible. I love romance.
Anyway Julia Roberts pretty much plays herself in the character of a Hollywood A list Actress Anna Scott, who walks into Hugh Grant’s unassuming character William Thacker ‘s travel book shop and purchases a book while Thacker deals with a petty shoplifter who hides a book down his trousers: “ excuse me bad news… there are cameras in this bit of the shop” is just one very polite line with which he persuades the shoplifter to return the book without him ever having to admit that he had in fact stolen it . As destiny would have it the two later bump into each other on the street – literally. Thacker spills orange juice all over Scotts’ white t-shirt and persuades her to go to his house to clean it off saying ‘ I’m confident that in five minutes we can have you spik and span , in a none prostitute way obviously“; referring to Julia’s role as a prostitute in the movie Pretty Woman. For a wanna be actress – the movie keeps me glued, in stiches; it’s well written and superbly performed by each actor, Spike, Thacker’s lodger being my most favourite character by far.
These are just a few of my favourite lines:
Spike to Thacker: ‘There’s something wrong with this yoghurt”
Thacker:” It’s not yoghurt it’s mayonnaise”
Spike continues eating “oh alright then”
Anna to Thacker after she kisses him “: Probably best not to tell anyone about this”
Thacker: “Right, right no-one, I mean I’ll tell myself about it sometimes but don’t worry I won’t believe it”
Thacker to Anna: “It was nice to meet you, surreal but nice” then after he closes the door berates himself wincing “surreal but nice, what was I thinking???”
My favourite part of the movie has to be the part where Thacker is invited to see Anna at the Ritz Hotel where she’s staying. What Thacker does not realize when he gets there is that he’ll have to fall in line with a group journalists waiting to interview Anna Scott on her latest movie, which he’s never seen. He thinks he’s been invited to a private date with the star. Asked about which publication he’s from, he blurts out “Horse and Hound” the name of a magazine within eye shot. He brings her flowers, and walks into the interview room full of large and expensive bouquets of roses, embarrassed he launches into an excruciating mock interview in the presence of Scott’s publicists who huffs and puffs in displeasure – it’s hilarious. He’s later roped into doing more interviews with other cast members without having seen the film which has a few gems such as…
Actor to Thacker: Did you enjoy the film?
Thacker: Yes Enormously
Actor: fire away then…
Thacker; “right did you enjoy making the film?
Actor: Yes, I did
Thacker: “Good any bit in particular?”
Actor: “You tell me which bit you enjoyed the most and I’ll tell you if I enjoyed making that bit”
This scene reminds me of a similar interview I did with Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan in the early years of my career as a journalist, needless to say I knew nothing of Bollywood other than the dancing, let alone Amitabh! I mean the entire movie is full of great lines. Anna later offers to accompany Thacker to his sister, Honey’s birthday dinner party as his date. Honey on meeting Anna gives the most droopingly impassioned fan monologue. .. Which is -just Classic!
Honey to Anna: “OH holy Fuck! Oh god this is one of those key moments in life when it’s possible you can be really genuinely cool and I… I’m going to fail just a hundred percent. I… I absolutely, totally and utterly adore you, and I just think you are the most beautiful woman in the world! And more importantly, I genuinely believed, and I have believed this for some time now that we could genuinely be best friends! What do you think?” then later adds “Oh marry Will, he’s a genuinely nice guy and then we could be sisters!”
On a morbid note, just to illustrate my point – and not to spoil the fun, during an interview with SABC’s veteran journalist Sophie Mokoena, notorious–serial killer Joe Mamasela said he coped with the trauma of killing and torturing people, through humour. “Humour helped me deal with it” he said.
This basically means, no matter what you’re going through ( Mamasela’s example aside) – if you can laugh about it, you can get through just about anything!
If you love literature and movies, go watch the movie! Again. Doctor’s orders.
Notting Hill is one of my most favourite Romcoms by far!
- I’m Just A Boy, Standing In Front Of Other Boys, Asking Them To Love NOTTING HILL (badassdigest.com)
- My Love Affair With Rom-Coms (misspinkysays.wordpress.com)
- The incredibly very best romantic motion pictures from the 90s (christiandiorofficialwebsite.wordpress.com)