There was a moment in the early 2000s when Hugh Grant seemed to be making one romantic comedy after another. At the beginning of that trend in his career, in 1999, there was Notting Hill. Today, it’s still one of the top movies the actor is known for. You can now check out this classic rom-com streaming free on Netflix.
The story stars Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. He plays a bookshop owner in Notting Hill, a neighborhood in London. She plays Anna Scott, a world-famous actress. In what is now a classic romantic-comedy moment, he literally bumps into her on the street and spills orange juice on her white shirt. He then invites her in to get cleaned up and change. The two bond and end up dating, but her fame proves an intimidating problem during their relationship. She’s frustrated. He’s frustrated. They get stuck trying to make things work, until eventually, it seems like they never, ever will.
Naturally, you have to watch the movie to see how they resolve the fame issue between them. One of the elements that makes Notting Hill more iconic is that it has lines often quoted in other movies and parodies, so once you watch this one you’ll always know where the “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy…” line came from.
The reviews for Notting Hill remain favorable today. Common Sense Media said, “While this romantic comedy doesn’t expose the dirty underbelly of our celebrity-crazed culture, it’s definitely funny. Hugh Grant plies his trademark self-effacing act to great effect.” The New York Times found it charming. Audiences have liked it. The movie scores 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.1 on IMDb.
Because Notting Hill remains one of Hugh Grant’s most popular films, the actor is regularly asked about the potential for a sequel. It seems natural today, when so many popular titles have sequels or reboots. Julia Roberts is still an iconic actress, so it would seem like the draw would be there for audiences. The story could possibly revolve around how the pair made it work with her fame in the long run.
However, Hugh Grant doesn’t think so, and it sounds like he’s tired of being asked about a Notting Hill 2 movie. Or perhaps he has become a cynic at heart. Whatever the case, when asked about sequels to his romantic comedies, he’s said that he would like to do one, just to prove how much of a lie all the romantic comedies were. He said, “I’d like to do me and Julia and the hideous divorce that’s ensued, and really expensive lawyers… lots of tears… psychologically scarred forever.” Somehow, it seems doubtful that a studio will want to sign on for that sequel. You can watch his interview on the subject below.
Is Hugh Grant joking? Would he like to be in a Notting Hill sequel full of divorce and tears? Maybe. He has seemed to leave his romantic-comedy days behind him. Recently, he played the surprisingly fun character Phoenix Buchanan in Paddington 2. He was in a mini-series for HBO Max called The Undoing with Nicole Kidman. And while Notting Hill 2 doesn’t seem like it’s destined to be in Hugh Grant’s future, he does have other interesting projects lined up.
One of those projects is a currently untitled Guy Ritchie movie. The cast is star-studded. It includes Hugh Grant, Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, and Cary Elwes. While not a lot is known, the movie is an action-thriller about an agent tracking down deadly weapons technology that threatens the world.
Hugh Grant has also signed on for the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie. While even less is known about this project, many are tentatively excited. The movie is being written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. The pair recently worked on Game Night. This suggests that the Dungeons & Dragons movie will have an element of comedy. Hugh Grant is often surprisingly funny, so hopefully, he’ll bring his charm to that project. Joining Grant will be Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page, and Michelle Rodriguez. Historically, adaptations of the roleplaying game have not gone over well with audiences. Still, hopes are high that with the team on board, they’ll manage to pull off something memorable. While production delays have confused the timeline, there is some hope that movie will release in 2023.