Notting Hill

Essay by ol_smurf March 2005

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"I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her". This was a famous quote from Anna Scott in the film Notting Hill. Notting Hill is a classical 'Hollywood' love story, with a touch of light hearted comedy mixed in for good measure. It's a story revolving around William Thacker (Hugh Grant) and Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) who are brought together in unusual circumstances.

In this essay, I will use two scenes in Notting Hill as primary touchstones for exploring the concept of narrative, genre and stardom. The first scene is when Anna Scott walked into William's bookstore in the middle of the film. While apologizing for her behaviour, she told him of her wish to be together again. The second scene is at the very end of the movie when William rushes to Anna's press conference and ask her to reconsider her plans of leaving Britain.

Thus, in this essay, I will address the first scene as the bookstore scene and the second scene as the press conference scene. Further on, I will touch on the concept of ideology and globalization in this film.

According to Bordwell and Thompson (1997:90), "narrative is a chain of events in cause-effect relationship occurring in time and space". Narrative involves the film's audience through a series of different techniques. The most important one is the narrative's ability to make the audience try to predict what will happen next (Rowe, 1996:112). In both the bookstore and the press conference scene, this element of narrative is present. In the bookstore scene, the audience were anticipating as to what response William might give when Anna implied that she wanted to reconcile with him. In the press conference scene, the tension of the audience...