Notting Hill is simply the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen. Grant displays the charm that we expect to see in a British gentleman and Roberts is terrific at playing a parody of herself. It’s cute, funny, and exactly the kind of film that defines “feel good.”
Another movie that fits the uplifting “British” mode and comes with a well-known ensemble cast, including Grant, is Love Actually. It’s a somewhat quirky movie in that it covers several distinct stories that somehow thread together. The movie drifts from funny to sad to touching to off-the-wall but surprisingly holds together well. Only one of the stories is definitely not for children (thus the “R” rating) but it’s the silliest as well.
It’s hard to describe the movie without getting into too much detail so the one thing I’ll say is that you’ll be touched by Liam Nielsen, Emma Thompson, and Colin Firth, and be ultimately satisfied with Hugh Grant. Firth’s story is the most compelling, heart-warming-wise. Just relax and enjoy it all.
The last “British” film I’ll recommend is one that flew below the radar. It’s called Last Chance Harvey and stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson (again!). It didn’t make a splash in the theaters but it’s another very tender film. Hoffman plays Harvey, a divorced “loser” who can’t seem to get his act together. He is on his way to England to attend his estranged daughter’s wedding. You get the idea how “estranged” when Harvey finds out his daughter booked him at a hotel alone while the rest of the wedding party is at a private estate.
What appears to be a depressing situation turns around when Harvey meets a woman played by Thompson who is a solid citizen but also down on her luck. Together they give each other a “last chance” at happiness. Harvey invites her to the wedding and the experience is a game-changer.