In the Age of Corona, we have all been in front of screens a lot more. Those of us who have screens to be in front of anyway. This story is about my (un)official Hugh Grant Movie Festival.
As part of my isolation journey, I finished watching a few Netflix series, namely Sex Education and The Stranger. I started Ozark as recommended by many of my friends, but was finding it difficult to get in to mainly because it was scaring the crap outta me! It was too suspenseful when I was already experiencing some ongoing low-level anxiety as it was. Browsing Netflix’s menu, I struck upon Notting Hill. I’ve seen it before a few times. I knew it was sweet and funny, and Hugh Grant provided some eye candy. I thought, why not, an anxiety-free zone!
As the credits were rolling, I thought poor old Hugh! He always plays the same character. The sort of bumbling, humble, sweet fellow who always gets his girl in the end after a confession of true love following some kind of misunderstanding. The same every time. I had a look at the font of all knowledge (Wikipedia) and discovered that he had several film credits to his name. More than forty stretching back to 1982! Along with movies, he has made substantial contributions to TV.
True to my form, I set an isolation goal (another one, I know!!) to watch as many of his movies as possible and see if my observation of the depths of his typecasting was correct.
Where will I source the Hugh Grant omnibus?
I searched the interwebs for ways to view his movies.
- Many are on Netflix and Prime Video which I already subscribe to. So tick!
- Some are on Prime/Neflix but not in Australia. Booo!
- Some I can get from my local library on DVD, but it is closed at the moment due to the Corona Virus. Sigh!
- A few more are on the streaming service called Kanopy which I can get free through the library. Yeah!
- One of my local Op Shops was open, so I ducked in there. (Only six people allowed in the shop at a time – keep your distance – sanitise before and after!) and picked up six titles for $2 each. (50% off the marked price!)
- His very early work from the 80s is still causing some issues which I hope YouTube might solve.
The results so far?
|Notting Hill (1999)||Yep – typecast as William Thacker||Netflix|
|Did you hear about the Morgans (2009)||Yep – typecast as Paul Morgan||Netflix|
|Sirens (1994)||Interesting! Australian production and a bit of very soft porn. Very young Elle McPherson who gets her clothes off a lot, Sam Neil who stays dressed and Portia de Rossi who is naked for much of the time too! But yes still a bit typecast but not so much!||Prime Video|
|The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain(1995)||Yep -very much so! As geologist/surveyor Reginald Anson||Prime Video|
|Music And Lyrics (2007)||Yep! Aging has been pop star finds love!||Prime Video|
|Our Sons (1991)||Made for TV. NO!! Not typecast. Plays a rather angry-with-the-world-gay guy whose partner is dying from AIDS. He plays the son of Julie Andrews and speaks with an American accent||Prime Video|
|Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)||Yes! Typecast as a would-be mobster Michael Felgate. If you recognise most of the cast it’s because many of them later appeared in the Sopranos!||DVD from the Op shop|
|Two Weeks Notice (2002)||Yep as Sandra Bullock’s English love interest – George Wade||DVD from the Op shop|
|Paddington 2 (2017)||No! He plays a baddy! An aging thespian has been! Is this another typecast genre arising as Hugh gets older?||Netflix|
|Sense and Sensibility (1995)||Well yes and no…He is not bumbling but he is humble. Given the script sticks to Jane Austen’s original story – it’s not really up to him, but he plays the love interest again, there is a misunderstanding again, and he gets his girl in the end!||DVD from the Op shop|
|Bridget Jones Diary (2001)||No. He is not bumbling or humble. He plays the Playboy cad. So while he tries to lure Bridget into a relationship, in the end, he does not get the girl. (Well not Bridget – every other girl but not her!)||DVD from the Op shop|
|Bridget Jones – The Age of Reason (2004)||No. A reprise of his character above, slightly but not totally reformed. He is still a cad and he still does not get the girl.||DVD from the Op shop|
|Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)||Yes. According to Wikipedia, this is the pivotal movie that cast him into this typecast role and the start of his Hollywood career. On another note, Andie MacDowell’s character is very mono-faceted. I think if the movie was made now it would be very different. He essentially falls in love with her because she looks good. Her character and dialogue are very wooden.||DVD from the Op shop|
|The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)||Hugh plays Waverley. An MI5 agent. Not typecast! Does not have a girl to get!||Rented via Apple TV|
|About a Boy (2002)||He’s not humble and bumbling but after a misunderstanding, he does get his girl (plus a whole network of friends). So partially stereotyped.||Rented via Apple TV|
That’s ALL I have watched so far. I have copies of/ access to
- Love Actually (again!) on Netflix/Prime
- Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
- Cloud Atlas from the Library when it’s open
- The Remains of the Day – Library
- The Lady and the Highwayman (TV) Library.
- I can rent a couple of more titles such as The Gentleman (2019) and The Rewrite (2014), from Apple TV
Once I have finished these, the real searching will begin as all the low fruit will have been picked!
If you know where I can see them in Australia let me know. There are many more titles on the US version of Prime and Netflix, but I don’t have access to those.
(Hugh even talks bout the typecasting himself in this interview with HQ.)
My original reason for starting the (unofficial) Hugh Grant Film Festival was to prevent me from aimlessly searching Netflix and Prime for something to watch in the upcoming weeks of Corona isolation. It meant I could just concentrate on one thing and reduce decision fatigue. I wrote the post over several weeks. As of yesterday, quarantine and lockdown restrictions are beginning to be lifted in NSW. We can now visit family. While welcomed in one respect, the tone of the low-voiced mumbling in my workplace is fearful. Is it too soon? Will there be a second wave? We can only wait and see.