It’s Valentine’s Day! The perfect opportunity to invite you to binge-watch three romantic comedies on Netflix. With Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Clovis Cornillac and Mélanie Bernier…
THUNDERBOLT AT NOTTING HILL (1999)
A 100% cult romantic comedy, Love at first sight in Notting Hill tells the love story like no other between a famous Hollywood actress and a modest British bookseller. In the two main roles of this frankly irresistible film, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant sparkle. And we won’t forget the hilarious Rhys Ifans in the role of the priceless quirky neighbor.
“I wanted to write a refreshing, human story, made up of little things, where feelings, all feelings, would have their place”says screenwriter Richard Curtis. “Notting Hill is a neighborhood full of sweetness, life and when the weather is nice you feel good there. It’s as simple as that. What could happen in such a place? A kind of fairy tale fairies, a fable, an encounter between two beings, between two worlds.The situation seduced me.“
“I am deeply convinced that romantic films and fairy tales have a lot in common”, completes Curtis, a great romcom specialist to whom we also owe the essential Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Diary of Bridget Jones and Love Actually. “Both are based on a simple idea, on the human value of each of the protagonists, on the trials they go through in their quest. It is often the simplicity of an idea that gives it its strength”.
Designed for a budget of 42 million dollars, Love at first sight in Notting Hill was a huge public success in theaters with nearly 364 million green tickets on the counter. Note that if you like Hugh Grant in romantic comedy mode, Love Without Notice and The Comeback, also available on Netflix, should delight you.
A LITTLE, A LOT, BLINDLY (2015)
A little, a lot, blindly, this is the story of Machin, a wacky inventor but above all a misanthrope, who needs calm to work. He is so obnoxious that he drives away all his neighbors, who are always too noisy for his taste. It is then that Machine, a pianist, moves into the adjoining apartment.
Against all odds, Machin and Machine get to know and even like each other, all without seeing each other, through the ridiculously thin and poorly soundproofed wall that separates their homes. They decide to meet. Alas, Machin wanted to pretend to be a dark Italian. Also Machine, falling on a real Italian, mistakenly passes his appointment with the latter.
For his first stint behind the camera, Clovic Cornillac, who plays opposite Mélanie Bernier, offers a frankly original romantic comedy. “In comedies where people have nothing to do together and obviously everything to do together, it’s a treat because necessarily, there is a path. And this idea of a path, this notion of progress, of evolution , interested me a lot”, he declares.
“Taking into consideration the ideas of the characters and taking them out of their marked path really pleased me”continues Cornillac. “What I also like in the cinema is to see things that I have not seen before. This film with this starting idea, I have not seen it. And yet, it fits right in with the genre.”
LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)
If the cult choir romantic comedy Love Actually works just as well, it’s probably because we find at the controls Richard Curtisa specialist in the genre to whom we also owe the stories of Four weddings and a funeral, Love at first sight in Notting Hill and Bridget Jones Diary. It is also undoubtedly because the cast, luxurious, is imperial.
In Love Actually, we thus find, please, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln and Alan Rickman. All this (very) pretty people find themselves embarked on crazy adventures where thelove is everywhere, unpredictable, inexplicable, insurmountable. He strikes when he wants and often, it does a lot of damage…
Director Richard Curtis, a great specialist in romantic comedies, drew a certain vision of love from it. “I explored the workings of love, what thwarts it, what threatens it or gives birth to it”he says. “I acquired a kind of experience from it, a certain approach to life. When I look around me, I first see people who seek, run after each other, tear each other apart and sometimes love each other.”
“It is in my opinion the main motor of life, the most moving, the most powerful, the most human too”continues Curtis. “Being able to observe it, laugh about it and finally realize that no place is ideal, help people feel less alone, less fragile and much more joyful, that’s what I seek to do.”
Unlike his previous films, Curtis proposes here to evoke the romantic destiny of some twenty main characters through several stories that intertwine over the course of the story. The director explains that he wanted to realize that “in the same second, the sublime and the ridiculous, confidence and betrayal rub shoulders. At the moment when you are mad with happiness, elsewhere, someone else despairs. All these moments are so many notes that make the score of the world, his music and his life.”