I preparation for our trip, Laura has been making us watch movies set in London or in the English countryside. I’m beginning to wonder if there are any modern movies involving London that don’t star Hugh Grant. Here’s what we’ve watched so far…
- "Four Weddings and Funeral"
- "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain" (set in Wales, but who cares?)
- "Love Actually" – starring a boatload of Brit stars in addition to Grant
- "Notting Hill"
- "Bridget Jones Diary" – with Renee Zellweger doing a horrible job with an accent
In addition to the Grant movies, there are some lesser-knowns:
- "The Man Who Knew Too Little" – Bill Murray, Peter Gallagher, Alfred Molino
- "Sliding Doors" – with Gwynneth Paltrow doing a fairly good accent
- "The Mummy Returns" – at least it has the British Museum and a chase in a double-decker
And, of course, there are the Harry Potter flicks. We seem to watch a lot of BBC America, so, that has played a large part of our viewing of late. An Agatha Christie movie came on PBS and had to be watched. We’ve also tried to catch most episodes of the new "Doctor Who" on SciFi. I think we’ll have to rent "The Full Monty" and "Brassed Off" before we head out so we can see yet another view of Brit life. For the still seemier side, I might try to catch "Trainspotting", "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", "Brimstone and Treacle", or "Quadrophenia", but I’m sure Laura would not want to watch any of these.
I haven’t included the James Bond movies. Even though he’s a British spy based in London, the movies tend toward more exotic locales. "Johnny English" with Rowan Atkinson is a much better choice from the spy genre. Of course, when one thinks of Rowan Atkinson, one thinks of British Humor. Preparation for a trip to the UK would not be complete without a healthy dose in the form of Monty Python and Douglas Adams.
So, in a week or so we’ll see if our view of British life, somewhat skewed by movies and books, matches reality.