Romantic comedies have reigned as a tried-and-true formula of escapism for almost a century. Yes, we know the guy is going to get the girl after some quirky antics. And, there’s probably going to be a wedding. But hey, that can be said about most genres. Action movies have explosions. Death is never too far from dramas and there’s probably going to be a mirror jump scare in a horror movie. One of the best rom-coms of all time is of course Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
But it's been some time since Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts have ventured back to their rom-com roots. Grant played a big baddie on The Gentleman earlier this year and by the sound of these comments, the 60-year-old is not interested in another happily ever after if he ever revisited Notting Hill. In his words:
I would like to do a sequel to one of my own romantic comedies that shows what happened after those films ended. To really prove the terrible lie they all were, that it was a happy ending. I’d like to do me and Julia and the hideous divorce that’s ensued. With really expensive lawyers, children involved in tug of love, floods of tears. Psychologically scarred forever. I’d love to do that film.
OK, way harsh Hugh. Anyone else hear the faint sounds of hopeless romantics everywhere pouring a glass of wine? The actor did say he is interested in returning to his 1999 role of William Thacker, but as long as the movie dispels some of the unrealistic expectations about relationships in the process. It’s just a good old fashioned rom-com Hugh, just let us have this.
Then again, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wandering into a bookshop and completely romanticize the experience. Did he just catch my eye in between the gaps in the bookshelves? Should I wear a cute beret today… because that’s what Anna Scott totally did when she met said bookshop boyfriend?
Romantic comedies are sugary sweet, but Hugh Grant isn’t completely out of line here and the idea of he and Julia Roberts returning to their Notting Hill characters in any capacity would be welcome. It would be funny to see William and Anna twenty years later, with some realism injected to add groundedness to the narrative. Or for that matter, the genre.
I’ve been doing these much more character-y roles recently, and enjoying them, and they seem to work quite well. And I didn’t want to go back to sort of just doing a version of Hugh Grant. I needed to find a very specific guy to be, not just 'dreamboat.’
Hugh Grant did spend quite a bit of his career being defined by being the leading man in rom-coms and it makes sense for him to move away from it and not necessarily welcome it back so easily. Julia Roberts has also stopped starring in these kinds of movies as well, admitting she loved working on them, but as she got older she wasn’t as drawn to them.
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