That stupid film – Notting Hill

I have started working at The Travel Bookshop – you must know the one, the book shop Hugh Grant works in in that stupid English Rom-Com made ten years ago – Notting Hill.  The one that made zillions of dosh; the one which gives the not-English a big dose of the kind of Englishness they admire; the fopish upper class twit, the boho-chic neighourhood, the ‘twit gets the American movie starlet’ as plot. Oh God.

It’s just one day a week, helping out for the next six weeks , covering for someone who works there who has an acting job. It’s not the first time I’ve worked at The Travel Bookshop. I was the Saturday girl in 1996, the summer of 1996 to be exact, before I went off to Egypt and Jerusalem. Working there had an impact on me – I was trying to buy a flat at the time – instead, inspired by the shop’s kaleidascope of travel books and air of escapism, I backed out of the deal and used my tiny store of cash to bugger off and have some adventures.  And on my retrun, what with New Labour sweeping into power in 1997, and the house market hike, I was never able to get onto the property ladder again – until now. Funny how things come round in circles. I am yet again preparing to travel – this time for my next book. 

I thought it would be quiet and sane at the bookshop. But the frigging film made in 1999 has changed all that. I now remember walking into the shop about 2001 – there must have been a hundred people in there – mostly Japenese tourists taking pictures of the shop.

Last Friday I did my trial run. Apart from breaking the credit card machine, I think I impressed the manager. Apart from the twenty people, all tourists, who came in wielding cameras and asking if this was the shop in the film Notting Hill, I enjoyed my day working there. 

People also asked us if we knew where Hugh Grant lived.

Twenty times we explained that the bookshop in the film was actually built in a studio and that the house where Hugh Grant lived in the film was in the parallel street and now had a differet colur door. Black, not blue. Many of them went off in search of this house. Many of them didn’t really care that the film wasn’t actually shot in the shop – they seemed happy enough to see a bone fide independent bookshop which sells travel books and which a man like Hugh Grant, might work in.


~ by moniqueroffey on February 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “That stupid film – Notting Hill”

  1. It’s a terrible film isn’t it? Richard Curtis – a pox on all his limp, wet, dreary works. I spit on ‘Four Weddings’ too.

    I’m afraid that I think you’re being too kind in your last paragraph and that it should probably have ended with a full stop after ‘Many of them didn’t really care that the film wasn’t actually shot in the shop.’

  2. I always used to say, ‘Monique is so Notting Hill that she even worked in the Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill.’ It just doesn’t get Notting-hillier.

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