Saturday, August 7, 2010

They Just Do It Better

I think you'd be able to guess that I'm not a huge fan of romantic comedies. Most of them tend to lean more towards the 'comedy' side rather than the 'romantic', for instance Bride Wars and Monster In-Law. I have to admit I rather enjoyed both those movies a lot, although they did not make me feel too warm and fuzzy on the inside (which I think is what romcoms are supposed to do to you). They were entertaining, yes, and the acting was pretty good too; Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in Bride Wars as well as Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in Monster In-Law. However, I felt that they lacked that 'impact' that a good movie is supposed to have on you.

One particular romcom though, did have an impact on me. And that movie is the famous Notting Hill. I've seen it quite a few times, but I only concentrated fully when Astro showed it on HBO tonight. As soon as the movie finished, I fully understood why the movie is so remembered until today. I absolutely adored it :) It had just the right balance of romance and comedy, as well as a brilliant script and wonderful actors. Most importantly, it had that subtlety that I think most romcoms lack. Throughout the whole movie, there was no over the top catfights, annoying-squealy-omg-he's-so-hot moments, and best of all, no sexual references or vulgarities (well I think it did have ONE, but it wasn't important to the storyline). The best part to me was Hugh Grant's unassuming, selfless, funny and utterly charming performance as the bookstore owner William Thacker. Not only was he at his most gorgeous stage, but there was just this effortless quality in his acting that makes you feel for his character so much. He played the character in a way that he was funny yet shy and sad at the same time. And I loved how he told Anna (Julia Roberts) that there are worse things in life than being hunted by paparazzi and having your face splashed across tabloids. In that single scene, he displayed the whole pettiness of the life Anna leads so perfectly that I just felt like screaming "Woman! He's the ONE for you!!"

Julia Roberts played Anna wonderfully. She was the miserable actress, smitten, yet subtle in her amusement towards William's antics and awkwardness. And the ending couldn't be any sweeter, with Anna lying on William's lap in the park at Notting Hill, pregnant with their child, holding hands with him. I know its cliche (heck, that's the whole point of romcoms!) but this was cliche done with class.

The entire movie's setting was in London, which gave it a distinct flavour and character. The director and scriptwriters did such an amazing job, I'm so happy :)

Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill :) :)

Way before I fell in love with Hugh Grant's acting in Notting Hill, I worshipped him as Edward Ferrars in Ang Lee's award-winning adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Those who read the book would know that the casting of Hugh Grant as Edward was not very accurate, as Mr. Ferrars is not supposed to be good-looking. However, I guess for movie purposes the directors had to choose someone more commercial looking, and I didn't have a problem at all with that, because Hugh Grant played the character so well! He was the shy, reserved, uncertain and slightly awkward English gentleman that Austen created. I have to admit Emma Thompson did look a tad too old for him (its not supposed to be that way in the book, Austen made Elinor Dashwood a 19 year-old, but in the movie she was made to be 27), but they both made it work, they had the chemistry and Edward's proposal in the end was just soooo SWEET :) To all of you Austen fans, even if you're not one, but you enjoy period dramas, Sense and Sensibility is HIGHLY recommended :D

Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility :) :)

While Grant's casting as Edward Ferrars might be questionable, Alan Rickman's portrayal of Colonel Brandon was absolutely spot-on. He had the looks, the grave, reserved, serious manner, and also the look of a man hopelessly in love. Besides that, he also looked like a man with a troubled past. He was just absolutely and completely perfect. Alan Rickman is officially one of my favourite actors ever now, and for those who don't know, he's the actor who played Professor Severus Snape to perfection in all the Harry Potter movies. And best of all, he is an actor who just does his job and nothing else. He's not in the papers for being caught DUI, soliciting prostitutes, violating probations or constantly getting in and out of rehab. Such a genius, underused actor :)

Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman in Sense and Sensibility :) :)

So, what do these two favourite actors of mine have in common? They're both British. And they both acted in two of my favourite movies of all-time, both of which featured a cast made up mostly (if not entirely) of British actors. Yep, they just do it be'er, them Bri'ish!


Nadira Nordin said...

I totally agree!
Anyway, seen Emma? Also a Jane Austen adaptation... I loved that one! It stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam and Ewan McGregor

Aira Nur Ariana said...

Hey Nad! Great minds think alike :) I haven't seen that one! I haven't read the book either, actually. Is it really good? I don't like it if its too Hollywood-ised..