Notting Hill HD DVD Review

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My partner Margaret informed me that I was to enjoy this film on pain of death, always a bad sign. I've never been a fan of the genre and taking or leaving Hugh Grant I usually take the latter, however as romantic comedies go I thoroughly enjoyed Notting Hill. The main thread, that of the relationship between Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts develops well, never running ahead of itself and never falling into totally unbelievable territory - well as much as it can for the affair of a multi million dollar actress and a skint bookshop owner.

What brings the film to life though are not our two main characters but those who fit into the sidelines, and there are a number of them; all excellently written and portrayed on screen. You feel at home and comfortable in the home of Max and Bella. Laughing with them as they joke during dinner, feeling her anguish as she describes how her life suddenly changed when a relatively recent accident confined her to a wheelchair. Grant's on screen sister, Honey, exudes warmth and generosity... his friend Bernie at times too wrapped up in his own world to even notice a 15 million dollar film star sitting at the dining table next to him.

Rhys Ifans playing Spike steals the show. You look forward to his base wisdom when he opens his mouth, you wonder at what fashion statement he'll try next. He is the child/joker in all of us; never taking life too seriously his character adds the true comedy to this venture. It would have been interesting to have a little more about him in the extras, perhaps including a short video diary of the character itself. Perhaps in a re-mastered ultra High Def version sometime in the future.

Until then though cuddle up and enjoy Notting Hill for what it is, a light-hearted look at people. Not just two people worlds apart falling in love but people who we would meet day in and day out. Certainly recommended.
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