Notting Hill

Julia Roberts flashes her megawatt smile, Hugh Grant does his patented dithering English fellow bit, and they're just as cute as two buttons in this winning romantic comedy. Anna Scott (Roberts) is a lanky, high-maintenance Hollywood movie star, while William Thacker (Grant) is the self-deprecating owner of a less-than-successful London shop. Anna wanders...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Julia Roberts flashes her megawatt smile, Hugh Grant does his patented dithering English fellow bit, and they're just as cute as two buttons in this winning romantic comedy. Anna Scott (Roberts) is a lanky, high-maintenance Hollywood movie star, while

William Thacker (Grant) is the self-deprecating owner of a less-than-successful London shop. Anna wanders in looking to buy a book, and a bit of contrived romantic comedy nonsense later, she's agreeing to be William's date for a little birthday dinner for his flighty sister (Emma Chambers). It all

goes so swimmingly that disappointment must inevitably follow, and does. But the movie has faith in true love even when the characters don't, so no one needs to worry that it's going to do something horribly modern and leave the made-for-each other cutie-pies pining for what might have been.

Roberts fans will, of course, be delighted to see her in a role that plays to all her strengths — fresh-faced looks, charming gangliness, air of infinite approachability — and neatly sidesteps her glaring inability to act by having her more or less play herself. But the filmmakers —

several of whom helped concoct FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, which cast Grant opposite a long-legged American to stunningly successful effect — also beef up the cast with actors who can take a nicely written supporting role and make it into a small gem, which means the world to moviegoers who

aren't entirely in thrall to the pretty woman's charms.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS

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