these are the other pearls of Richard Curtis


‘The Boat That Rocked’

An entertaining rock comedy about a… illegal pirate channel in the 1960s that broadcasts from a ship on the North Sea, with a bunch of colorful DJs on board who indulge their love for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. However, the success of the illegal pirate channel is a thorn in the side of the British government.

‘The Boat That Rocked’ is not a reconstruction of the story Radio Caroline, but is clearly inspired by the fate of the pirate channel. In fact, the film is a loving tribute to that adventurous period of rebellion and the exciting heyday of British rock music.

Radio Caroline’s ship, the Mi Amigo, sank to the seabed on March 20, 1980 after being caught in a heavy storm and running aground. The fleeing DJs could not save the ship’s enormous record collection and, just like in the finale of ‘The Boat That Rocked’, only the high mast from the sea, where it remained for many months.

Director Richard Curtis looks back on the radio pirates of the sixties with (sentimental) nostalgia. Most of ‘The Boat That Rocked’ is plotless: we see the characters eat, drink, party, make out, fall in love, be heartbroken and belt out classic rock to an audience of loyal schoolgirls, nurses, teenagers and young lovers. Perhaps the best aspect of the film is the great soundtrackfull of old, sometimes forgotten rock songs such as ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ by Jeff Beck, ‘I Can See for Miles’ by The Who, ‘With a Girl Like You’ by The Troggs, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ by Jimi Hendrix and ‘I Feel Free’ by Cream.

‘About Time’

“About Time” follows the story of Tim, a 21-year-old who discovers that he and his ancestors can time travel. When he hears of his newfound gift, he turns it into a mission love to find, but he soon realizes that the ability to travel through time does not free him from the pain of everyday life. Play in the movie Domnhall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams the leading roles.

Curtis’ third film captures the cute awkwardness of early love and real tenderness between Gleeson and Nighy. The backbone of this unorthodox rom-com, however, is its shining, believable one chemistry between Gleeson and McAdams.

‘About Time’ is available on Prime Video. You can now stream the full range of Prime Video from your Android TV Box. More information about this option can be found here.


‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’

This popular romantic comedy follows the ups and downs of a budding relationship. Hugh Grant plays the dashing Brit Charles, while Andie Macdowell charms as Carrie, a beautiful American who steals Charles’ heart. Despite their mutual affection for each other, the lovers never seem to be in the right place at the right time to commit to each other. In the end, fate still wins.

The 1994 romcom won numerous awards and was nominated for one Oscar for Best Picture and best case scenario. The idea for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ arose from Curtis’ own experiences. One fine day, when he was 34 years old, he realized that in ten years he would have… 72 wedding parties had reeled off. Especially the one time he met a woman with whom he clicked, but whose offer to spend the night together he turned down and whom he would never see again, gave him the inspiration for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ .

The film was actor Hugh Grant’s first big hit and launched his career in Hollywood. The picture was not only appreciated for its subtle humor and romantic chemistry between Grant and MacDowell, but also for its pioneering role in the representation of gay couples and people with a hearing impairment in mainstream culture. After all, one of the fellow guests at the wedding in the film is David, Charles’ deaf brother and in reality also played by a deaf actor, David Bower.

You can certainly enjoy the comedy, which cost just $4.4 million low-cost production to call. The budget was so limited that extras had to wear their own (wedding) clothes on set. This is in stark contrast to the proceeds at the film box office: more than $250 millionwhich made ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ the best-selling British film ever at the time.

‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ is available on Prime Video. You can now stream the full range of Prime Video from your Android TV Box. More information about this option can be found here.


‘Notting Hill’

Richard Curtis was not the director but the screenwriter of the mother of all rom-coms, which follows the unexpected love story between Hollywood’s hottest actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and mild-mannered bookstore owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant). The film was well received by critics and was one of the highest-grossing films of 1999after ‘Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace’.

The chemistry may splash off the screen when watching ‘Notting Hill’, behind the scenes the relationship between the two protagists was strong soured. Not to mention, Grant and Roberts could drink each other’s blood. On set, Grant was bothered by, in his own words, “diva behavior” from Roberts. Moreover, the Hollywood star demanded one salary increase after another: her paycheck went from 10 million dollars to 15 million at the end of the filming.

In addition, Grant spoke out about the kissing scenes, which he found “difficult” because “Roberts’ mouth is so big”, the man said plainly in 2015 in the American talk show ‘Watch What Happens Live’. “I heard a faint echo when I was kissing her,” he joked at the time.

Fortunately, all the tension on set was not visible to the cameras. ‘Notting Hill’ went down in history as a true one classic: a cross-pollination of a love story, a light-hearted comedy and a feel-good film.

‘Notting Hill’ is available on Prime Video. You can now stream the full range of Prime Video from your Android TV Box. More information about this option can be found here.

Notting Hill


The article is in Dutch

Tags: pearls Richard Curtis


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