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4 Movies like Notting Hill: Swoon-Worthy Lead Actors

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Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorIf you like a bit of romance, glimpses of a gorgeously lit London, or just a good love story regardless of the location, my picks of movies like Notting Hill (1999) include Match Point (2005), The English Patient (1996) and Before Sunrise (1995). ~ Paola Bassanese

Films Similar to `Notting Hill´

There was a time when Hugh Grant used to be a sex symbol (more on Hugh Grant in Scout’s article and Kerry’s article). Notting Hill made Hugh Grant an international superstar – and even hardened film critics like The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw admitted to love this film.Notting Hill is unique in portraying London as a beautiful, clean and romantic city (and that’s what critics have accused writer Richard Curtis of, saying it is not a realistic view of London).

Still, this is the world of make believe: do I really want to see in a movie the same discarded rubbish bags, furniture, supermarket trolleys that I see when I walk around London?

There’s socially-engaged cinema, and there’s the dream factory-type cinema: you can enjoy both. I know I do.

And now, here’s some good films like Notting Hill I chose for you; I hope you’ll enjoy them (remember to let me know in the comments at the end of this article).

`Last Chance Harvey´ (Joel Hopkins, 2008)

This film is a few inches away from being a classic

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson have a chance encounter at a London airport, and then meet again and again.

`Last Chance Harvey´ is a few inches away from being a classic – something is missing and I think it’s dramatic tension: it plays safe throughout but all the same it’s very enjoyable.

There’s some lovely shots of the London South Bank (reminiscent of Four Weddings and a Funeral) with gorgeous photography. The leads both perform beautifully; it’s an understated performance and a sweet love story.

`Before Sunrise´ (Richard Linklater, 1995)

A film about a chance encounter

I am getting goosebumps just writing the title. Why? Because Before Sunrise is probably one of the most romantic films I have ever seen.

`Before Sunrise´ is delicate, soft spoken and warm.

This is another film about a chance encounter, this time on a train.

There’s a romantic walk around Vienna under the moonlight. A movie that keeps on giving: there’s two more sequels if you like this. One is Before Sunset (2004) and the other is Before Midnight (2013). Stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

`The English Patient´ (Anthony Minghella, 1996)

A love triangle, the war, third degree burns, a Canadian nurse…

The English Patientalmost made it to the top of Tom Hiddleston’s list of most romantic movies (he gave pride of place to Last of the Mohicans because of the love story between the lead characters played by Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe).

Take two swoon-worthy lead actors (Ralph Fiennes and Kirstin Scott-Thomas) and put them in an exotic location. Add a love triangle, the war, third degree burns, a Canadian nurse…

Although the dramatic tension and the electrifying passion of the film fizzle out towards the end, a good two thirds of the movie are beautiful.

The last third of the movie is somewhat more light-hearted, with Juliette Binoche playing a nurse looking after poor Ralph Fiennes (Count Laszlo de Almásy) covered in bandages.

If Notting Hill is all sweetness, light comedy and light romance, The English Patient has more pathos and drama – but both films represent the best of British film-making, in my view.

`Match Point´ (Woody Allen, 2005)

The film has many qualities of a classic film noir

More swoon-worthy lead actors: Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers!

They are both impossibly beautiful and the photography is superb – which means that they acquire an almost preternatural quality about them. They look more like gorgeous holograms or deities than real people. If you are a fan of make-believe, you’re in for a treat.

Match Pointhas all that polished, sophisticated look that Notting Hill has – and intentionally ignores council estates and rubbish bags. Hooray!

The film has many qualities of a classic film noir, there’s a femme fatale (Johansson) and a murder.

The fact that Matthew Goode is also in the movie reminds me that I see some similarities in the photography and styling between Match Point and Tom Ford‘s A Single Man (where Goode plays Colin Firth‘s partner).


Let me Know which Film you Prefer!

Don’t forget to let me know which of these movies you prefer and enjoyed the most in the comments.


I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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