Tuesday, April 27, 1999 Published at 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Film Review: Notting Hill
Hugh Grant returns to screens as the star of Notting Hill
By BBC News Online's Bella Hurrell
The year was 1994 and white weddings were back in style. Bridal outfitters everywhere blessed Hugh Grant and the film Four Weddings and a Funeral for injecting romance into the cynical 1990s.
Now the self-deprecating English gentleman is back in the follow-up film Notting Hill. The bittersweet romantic comedy is not a sequel but it does portray the same sort of mildly eccentric Brits that the rest of the world - particularly America - seems to find so amusing.
Grant plays William Thacker, a bumbling, shy but essentially good sort of chap with a winsome smile.
Thacker is the owner of a rundown bookshop in trendy Notting Hill. Into his life walks movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). A complicated romance ensues with Thacker falling for Scott, and vice versa. Despite the "she loves me, she loves me not" vacillation, a happy ending is never really in doubt.
The film also deals with the nature of fame. Roberts' Anna Scott, who is hounded by the British tabloids, spends much of her time trying to avoid scandal. She angrily comments that yesterday's news is never forgotten, it just goes into a cuttings file to resurface again and again - a point that has particular resonance for Grant after his 1995 arrest in Hollywood.
Even now, the men's nylon Y-front industry is doubtless rubbing its hands together at the merchandising possibilities.
Notting Hill is released in UK cinemas on 28 May.
TV and Radio