best films: #58: NOTTING HILL (1999)
So maybe this one is an admittedly embarrassing love of mine, but I can’t help but hold strong in my opinion that Notting Hill is the perfect modern example of a great romantic comedy. Its two leads are inherently likable and have amazing chemistry (which is more than can be said for most entries in this genre). Julia Roberts is radiant and slyly emotional in what I consider her best performance. Hugh Grant is at the top of his game, and, considering he’s had zero chemistry with other romantic co-stars (take a gander at Music and Lyrics and, from what I’ve heard, Did You Hear About the Morgans?) he and Roberts seem to be an ideal pairing as the dowdy travel book salesman (Grant) and the flashy American movie star (Roberts). And detractors be damned — I absolutely love her near-end monologue to Grant. Call the “I’m just a girl…” speech corny, but its damn fun corn nonetheless.