For years, Hugh Grant was the king of romantic comedies. With Grant celebrating his 53rd birthday on September 9, we’re taking a look back at his Top 5 Best Romantic Comedies:
1. “Bridget Jones’s Diary”: In this iconic film adapted from the bestseller of the same name and its sequel, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” Grant’s Will Freeman vies for the attention of the title character, played by Renee Zellweger. Coincidentally, his main rival for her attentions, Colin Firth, celebrates his own birthday on September 10. With a third book soon-to-be published, perhaps we’ll get a third go-round for Will Freeman to get it right with Bridget.
2. “Notting Hill”: If Hugh Grant was the king of romantic comedies, Julia Roberts was the queen. Thus it comes as no surprise that the duo paired up for “Notting Hill,” in which Grant plays against type as a rather average gentleman who comes to know Anna Scott (Roberts), one of the famous actresses of the time. Sparks fly between the two, leading to an “odd couple” pairing that worked for critics and audiences alike, leading to three Golden Globe nominations.
3. “Music & Lyrics”: One of later entries in Grant’s rom-com legacy, this likely isn’t as popular of a choice as the previous two, but with the impossibly charming Drew Barrymore as Grant’s romantic lead, it had to make the list. Grant plays a washed-up former member of a Devo-style musical group, while Barrymore plays the woman who waters his plants. After discovering that she has a talent for songwriting, the two become partners in business before becoming partners in love.
4. “Love Actually”: These days, it seems like everyone has seen “Love Actually” on TV at some point around the holidays. In the Christmas-themed romantic comedy built from a number of vignettes, Hugh Grant plays the new Prime Minister of England who finds love with one of his employees. With a cast that also includes Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy and, once again, Colin Firth, it’s hard to go wrong. While his role in the film is limited, Grant makes the most of his screen time with a winning performance.
5. “About a Boy”: While it’s not a traditional romantic comedy, “About a Boy” showed that Grant could be vulnerable and also still a charmer. Based on Nick Nornby’s novel, he played another wealthy and aloof man, this time due to his royalties earned from his deceased father’s songwriting. Grant gradually loses his smarm as he comes to care for a young boy (“X-Men: First Class” star Nicholas Hoult, now a movie star in his own right) and his mother (Toni Collette). Along the way, he finds love in an unlikely place, and the charming story makes us hope that NBC’s upcoming TV adaptation can live up to its name.
What's your favorite Hugh Grant romantic comedy? Let us know!