2003, Richard Curtis (Notting Hill) -- Netflix
This is becoming that movie that I will continue to do a rewatch post for as long as this blog clings to the unreality that is blogging. I might not be a blogger anymore, and really who is, but this blog will cling to life for as long as I can continue to drag out mediocre non-reviews.
Kent, is this the podcast you were talking about, where two guys constantly rewatch the same movie? I imagine the idea is not unique, and I could continue to do it with many movies from The Shelf, especially the ones I associate with Xmas, like Avatar or 2012. Why do I associate them with Xmas? Because they were movies I received for Xmas and always have a hankering to rewatch them at this time of year.
So, the Rick & Mordo show. Nobody laughed at my poorly thought out in-Joke. Let me ruin it even more by explaining it to you. In painful detail. Andrew Lincoln plays Mark, the loyal friend who hides his love for his best friend's new wife very well. Chiwetel Ejiofor is said best friend. On The Walking Dead Lincoln plays Rick Grimes. In the recent movie Doctor Strange Ejiofor plays Mordo, a sorcerer ally of said Doctor. There is a very very popular irreverent cartoon called Rick & Morty, which people cannot stop recommending me to watch, but I only got to episode 2. This bad joke was really just meant to make Kent groan. But he's rarely on social media, so I doubt he saw it.
Again, this movie makes me smile. And if you knew me, you would know how much of a challenge that is these days. I still cling to the most uplifting stories of love, the David & Natalie one and the Daniel & Sam story. For those that are wondering, Daniel (Liam Neeson) and Karen (Emma Thompson) are just friends, good friends, not brother & sister. David (Hugh Grant) and Karen are brother and sister. But I suspect Karen and Daniel dated once, a long time ago, which is why they are so close as to share a box of cereal together. And why she constantly breaks his grieving anguish with sarcastic levity --- only a true friend could do that.
For the first time in rewatching, I am on board with considering Alan Rickman a bastard for cheating on Karen. The director confirmed it, and the unmade bed in the background does as well. But the movie is not only about positive views on Love, but also on negative. The relationship between Sarah (Laura Linney) and her brother is not healthy, despite how loyal it is. And neat to recognise Sarah's obsession Karl (Rodrigo Santoro) as the scarred Bad Guy Host in Westworld. But yeah, Rickman loses Emma Thompson for one night with the young, hot secretary. I wonder what she felt she was getting from that, taking down the Boss That Everyone Loved. Her behaviour is not out of love.
"I hate Uncle Jamie !!"
"Eight is a lot of legs, David."
"Do. The SAS are absolutely charming. Ruthless trained killers are just a phone call away."
Is London really that warm five weeks before Xmas? Do you see what Keira Knightly is wearing, a crop top, short sleeve, no jacket outfit? And out on the water. I get the Big City idea of light jackets when you are running from car or subway to building and not spending much time outside, but that seems a bit excessive.
The movie ends with One Month Later, catching up on a few. Bill Nighy's aging rockstar (only 54, but damn leathery) is obviously doing well for himself. And Natalie, ever in red, while not accompanying her man on his business trip is definitely there to barge past security and jump into the arms of the Prime Minister. That is love, truly happy actual love.
I love her character, for she is never beset upon, she is never fazed but for a moment, by dickhead POTUS. She has been "redistributed" (I still don't think that meant fired) but understands and when David appears on her doorstep, she knows exactly why and goes with it. He may be Prime Minister, but he is a man who will love her, and whom she will love, probably forever.
One final word on confidence, the couple most often forgotten about in this movie are John (Martin Freeman) and Just Judy (Joanna Page), the porn body doubles. For such a shy couple, they are immensely centered on who they are. They can have conversations, as strangers, while sitting naked on each other!! Imagine being that absent of body shame? Oh I know there is physical attraction there between the two, but when they connect it is with utter confidence. And that last line from them, one year later ("Finally going to shag") means they have been taking it slow and gentle. How sweet.