Can a beautiful and internationally famous American actress find happiness with a frumpy British bookstore clerk? She can -- at least for a while, it seems -- in Notting Hill. William Thacker (played by Hugh Grant) is a bookseller at a shop… More Can a beautiful and internationally famous American actress find happiness with a frumpy British bookstore clerk? She can -- at least for a while, it seems -- in Notting Hill. William Thacker (played by Hugh Grant) is a bookseller at a shop in the Notting Hill district in West London, who shares a house with an eccentric Welsh friend, Spike (Rhys Ifans). One day, William is minding the store when in strolls Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), a lovely and well-known actress from the United States who is in London working on a film. She buys a book from William, and she is polite and charming in the way a famous actress would be with a star-struck sales clerk. Their relationship would logically end there, if William didn't run out a few minutes later to buy some juice. While dashing back to the shop, he bumps into Anna on the street, spilling juice all over her blouse. Since he lives nearby, William politely offers to let her stop by his house to clean up; since William seems harmless enough, Anna agrees. When Anna has to stop back to pick up a bag she left at William's house, they kiss -- just in time for Spike to show up. A romance slowly blooms as his friends and family (not to mention the world at large) wonder out loud what he's doing dating a movie star. Notting Hill reunites Hugh Grant with producer Duncan Kenworthy and screenwriter Richard Curtis, who previously worked together on the international hit Four Weddings And A Funeral. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Consensus: Charming performances provide romance aplenty.