Notting Hill

Director: Roger Michell
Year Released: 1999
Rating: 2.5

Superstar actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) stops by a travel bookstore in London owned by William Thacker (Hugh Grant), they flirt a little, she leaves, he "accidentally" bumps into her outside, they go back to his flat and you can tell what's going to happen next: they catch feelings but she has a possessive boyfriend (Alec Baldwin) and a busy lifestyle, there's a scandal involving the paparazzi, he questions her intentions (considering their class differences) ... and eventually there's a Happily Ever After.  Part of me wants to condemn screenwriter Richard Curtis for using such lazy plot devices to keep the whole thing together, but the truth is the banter is very charming (Rhys Ifans is a scene-stealer as the horny Welsh roommate) and both leads sell the premise: she's worth the $15 million they paid her, and his self-effacing demeanor befits a bookworm.  I find it curious how there's a bit of cultural reversal taking place: Will and his family act like a bunch of American hillbillies while taciturn Julia looks (and behaves) as if she's royalty.  And gentlemen: umm, the ladies adore this so be prepared to sit through it multiple times.