Thinking about 1999, Notting Hill, what was wrong with that movie, and more

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/08/31 13:57 +00:00, original URI:

The movie Notting Hill came out during an unusual period in my life. I had just finished seeing a blonde who wasn't all that famous and started seeing a blonde who a bit famous before seeing another blonde who wasn't so famous before seeing yet another blonde who was a little bit famous.

The weird thing about it all was that I kinda had an aversion to blondes since I was quite young after being rejected by another blonde who frankly admitted her sincere lack of interest in me in a way that intimidated me from the serious pursuit of other blondes for many years thereafter.

Not for nothing but that original blonde is technically a little bit famous in her own way, in yet another inflection of that force of nature known as irony.

Anyway, back to Notting Hill, and that blonde who was a little bit famous that I was seeing down in southern California back when the movie came out. I saw it with her several times because the theme of the famous person (played by Julia Roberts) ending up with the not so famous person (played by Hugh Grant) helped me get my head around the new relationship even more effectively than the similarly themed movie Just Write with the famous person (played by Sherilyn Fenn) ending up with the not so famous person (played by Jeremy Piven) a few years prior.

So a few trips to southern California later and she was over me, something that most ladies have found themselves reasonably easy to do. I found myself with another blonde, this time a less famous kind, but in the end that didn't work out either. And then the next blonde, also in the southern California area (although I am told that it isn't so uncommon in the area), which also didn't work out, unfortunately.

Getting back to the nominal point of today's blog post, the movie Notting Hill, I am aware of only three specific failures and/or kerfuffles in the flick itself:

• each and every one of the many dozens of neighborhoods that make up the megacity of London has unique qualities about it, and Notting Hill is no different. In this case, the carnival is known to pretty much anyone spending a year there, like the moviegoers do in the long montage do;

• anyone who has ever been to Notting Hill or knows anything about the place knows that the racial makeup was probably surprised at the absence of black faces not only in the ensemble cast but in the entire neighborhood during the montage as well (add the bonus mini kerfuffle with the ones in the US who mentioned the paucity of "African American faces" without usually remembering in time that Notting Hill and London aren't in America);

• in a particular scene, Hugh Grant mentions that all he has to look forward to at home is "a masturbating Welshman" which obviously managed to offend some of those of Welsh descent.

None of them are fatal flaws in the film, but none of them had to happen since the first two could be solved by minimal research into the specific location that was the name of the film, and the third could have been avoided by not trying so hard to be clever with so many lines. Bad enough that Julia Roberts flubbed the floppy/floosie line herself in the movie....

On the plus side, the unusual confluence of circumstances cured me of my irrational aversion to blondes! ;-)

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referenced by

2015/09/15 A few sorta random things I recall about some of my past memorable, unorthodox relationships, part #2

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