Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review of "From Notting Hill to Love Actually"

by Tiffany McGee

Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn. I love Chick-Flicks. I love the idea of happy-ever-after, light-hearted fun, and any other hyphenates you can conjure. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across From Notting Hill with Love Actually by Ali McNamara.

Link to Amazon

From Amazon: Movie fanatic Scarlett O'Brien dreams of a life as glamorous and romantic as all the big screen flicks she worships. When a chance house-sitting on iconic Notting Hill comes along, she knows living in one of her favorite movie settings is an opportunity  too good to pass up.

Leaving behind her skeptical friends, family, and fiance, Scarlett heads to London and finds herself thrust in the lead role of her very own romantic comedy. But can real life ever be just like the movies? Larger-than-life new friends, a handsome but irksome new neighbor, and a mystery from past may prove to Scarlett that living her life like a RomCom is more complicated than she thought!

McNamara weaves details of actors and Hollywood fairy-tales into a bright, funny romance. Making no secret of her love of Chick-Flicks, the author writes a story that's like a secret club - the only membership requirement is a DVD player. Movie references come fast and furious (Ha! One of the few movies not mentioned), and althought Scarlett takes time to explain many of them, a lot are tossed out for the reader to reel in on their own. As I read the story, I cheered whenever Scarlett encountered another RomCOM moment in real life, particularly those she didn't plan. In addition to her own burgeoning romantic comedy, Scarlet searches for her long-absent mother, the woman who imparted our heroine with her name and love of cinema.

In defense of romantic comedy, Scarlett opines:
There's something very comforting about watching a Hugh Grant movie. You know no one's head will be blown off in the first three minutes, no one will be tortured, and the worst thing that might happen is seeing a lanky Welshman eating mayonnaise in his underpants.
As far as I'm concerned, we can all use an escape once in a while, and that is exactly what Ali McNamara delivered.