Moviegeek5: Hugh Grant
Despite being a rather mild-mannered Londoner, Hugh Grant has been one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood since the mid 1990s. After a mixed career in the 1980s and early 1990s, Grant rose to fame worldwide with Four Weddings and a Funeral (see below) and since then he has been associated with romantic comedy, although he has made interesting detours, such as in The Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas (2012) and a charming small part in the highly entertaining The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015). Grant’s filmography is indeed a string of pearls of great romantic leads, but we have endeavoured to select five film that we feel are representative of his career. It is our way of saying happy birthday to Hugh Grant in honour of his 60th anniversary.
Check out the list below and let us know your favourite films starring Hugh Grant!
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
No list of Hugh Grant films would be complete without his big breakthrough, which remains to this day one of his best romantic comedies. Grant stutters, smiles, and akwardly charms his way through a wonderfully written british comedy classic. Grant’s Charles is wonderful character in a film full of memorable and endearing character (perhaps with one ahem.. American exception). Following the up and downs of Charles and his friends through (you’ve guessed it) four weddings and a funeral. Penned by the great Richard Curtis, this made Grant and international career and remains one of the most memorable British comedies of the 1990s.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
This Oscar-winning Jane Austen adaptation was directed by Ang Lee and penned by Emma Thompson, who starred as the sensible Elinor who falls against expectation for the dashing and kind-hearted Edward Ferrars. Grant is a wonderful Ferrars, and gives him a vulnerability and sincerity that is very Jane Austen and very “Grantish”. The film was released the year after Four Weddings and a Funeral and gave Grant a chance to show a slightly different side to his talent, and is in my humble opinion a film that has aged but better than other of his films from the same period.
Notting Hill (1999)
Out of Grant 1990s output, this is the one most likely to come to mind after the first entry on our list. Notting Hill tells the charming story of a big Hollywood star (Julia Roberts) who stumbles into an ordinary English chap (Hugh Grant), with a charming and colourful group of friends, and falls in love. Naturally, complications ensue and the film takes a well-deserved stab at the papparazzi, as the love grows between to normal people, one of whom just happens to be really famous. With charming characters and a great soundtrack, this is one of Grant’s most likable characters, and enjoyable film.
About a Boy (2002)
Once you fall into the trap of thinking that Grant simply plays the same soft-spoken Englishman with a slight stutter over and over again in romantic comedies, he delivers a film like About a Boy. Here grant plays very much against our common perception as a selfish and immature man, who lives off the royalties from a famous Christmas song his father wrote. When Marcus, a rather mature boy, pushes himself into his life, he is forced to learn to grow up and face up to life. A young Hoult is very good as Marcus, whose troubled home life has forced him too mature beyond his years, and he and Grant are wonderful together. A solid and touching drama with great performances.
Music and Lyrics (2007)
The final entry on our list is not only a very charming romance, it is also quite funny. Grant stars as a washed up 1980s pop star who is given a couple of days to write the next hit for a young pop star. But writing lyrics have never been his strongest side and enlists the help of a young woman to happens to have a flair for writing. The chemistry between Grant and Barrymore is great and even though the film trods along much as you expect (which is sometimes a rather wonderful thing) there is plenty of laughs and charm to make to return to this when in the mood for a real feel-good film.