“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him for a divorce.”
That sums up actor Hugh Grant’s take on the fate of the star-crossed characters in his 1999 rom-com “Notting Hill.”
In the movie, opposites attract as radiant global superstar Anna Scott, played by Julia Roberts, nonsensically falls for nebbish London bookstore owner William Thacker (Grant). Tabloid troubles ensue.
But in a recent interview with Collider, Grant — the king of romantic comedies including “Love Actually” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” — predicted a less-than-happy ending for the couple. (By the way — spoiler alert — the eventually married parents-to-be are last spied in the film gauzily reclining on a park bench following a tumultuous courtship, as Elvis Costello croons the lyrics to his wistful song “She.”)
“I’m sure that my character in ‘Notting Hill’ and Julia Roberts’ character have been through the ugliest imaginable divorce with really expensive, nasty lawyers,” Grant told Collider, while also noting that his other rom-com relationships were, in his opinion, “all disasters,” too.
“Those films were all lies,” he said, dissing the cheesy film category. He added that he thought a genre of sequels taking down romantic comedies would be “a brilliant idea.”
The 60-year-old Grant — who has been promoting his new HBO murder mystery series “The Undoing,” co-starring Nicole Kidman — went even further in a series of network interviews released on Twitter last week. He deadpanned that he would actually like to do a sequel to “Notting Hill” that focuses on the “hideous divorce that’s ensued.” It would include “children involved in tug of love, floods of tears, psychologically scarred forever,” he said, with an oddly knowing chuckle. “I’d love to do that film.”
Grant has juggled his own tabloid relationship troubles over the years — including a scandalous breakup with longtime love Elizabeth Hurley, now 55, in 2000, five years after he cheated on her with a prostitute in Hollywood. But he avoided becoming “a sad, lonely old man” in 2018 when he married girlfriend Anna Eberstein, with whom he is raising three children. (He also has two other children from a “fleeting affair” with an ex, Tinglan Hong.)
HBO’s “The Undoing” follows Dr. Jonathan Fraser, an oncologist who cheats on his therapist wife, Grace (Kidman), with a patient’s spouse and comes under suspicion when said lover, Elena (Matilda De Angelis), is murdered. The limited series airs at 9 p.m. Sundays.
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