Picture Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), a famous and beautiful actress, walking into a small "travel" bookstore in London's Notting Hill, owned by William Thacker (Hugh Grant), that's not doing too well. Sparks fly between Anna and William. The same day, he runs into her and spills orange juice on her dress and they end up kissing. It's a strong indicator of how contrived this film is. Yet that doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable time killer.
Of course, the conflict in the film is that William is nobody and Anna is somebody. While she waxes philosophic about the costs associated with fame (I find this extremely amusing when famous people in the real-world do this) the worlds they live in are very different. On top of this, Anna is insecure, has had her heart hurt in the past, and has a temper to boot.
All this is played out very well as the girl-meets-boy girl-loses-boy girl-gets-boy scenarios is iterated a couple of times. There is chemistry between Grant and Roberts. The eclectic and humourous set of characters, including William's masturbating Welch house mate Spike (Rhys Ifans); his best friend Max (Tim McInnerny); Max's wheelchair-bound wife (Gina McKee); and their ditzy little sister Honey (Emma Chambers), make the movie interesting and humourous. The acting is very good and the script is sharp, with several witty parts to it. Some of the cinematic aspects are done very well, particularly a scene involving William missing Anna as the seasons change around him.
Notting Hill has a very straight-forward romantic comedy premise, and it succeeds by providing both the romance and the comedy. A great date film.