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‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins hilariously livetweets watching ‘Notting Hill’ for the first time

Hugh Grant had him skeptical, but…


Christine Friar


Barry Jenkins may have taken home last year’s Oscar for best picture, but he isn’t above enjoying a rom-com on a plane like the rest of us.

The Moonlight director was on a trans-Atlantic flight Wednesday when he noticed that the woman next to him had just started watching Notting Hill—the 1999 movie about a regular British bookstore owner (Hugh Grant) who falls in love with an A-list American celebrity (Julia Roberts) after she walks into his shop and spills something on her clothes. Ah, cinema. Even though he’d heard about it over the years, Jenkins had never seen the iconic romantic comedy, so he decided to enjoy his in-flight cocktail and watch along with his seatmate.

Since the woman was listening on headphones and he was watching in secret, Jenkins didn’t have access to the audio, which added an extra level of difficulty to understanding the plot. Luckily, he livetweeted the whole thing.

Within the first few minutes, Jenkins suggested pairing a silent viewing of the movie with Rick Ross’ “Hold Me Back,” which he was apparently listening to on his iPhone.

“This really is THE primo soundtrack,” he joked.

Early on, Jenkins noticed one of the movie’s central tensions: Why would this hot celebrity be interested in this glasses-wearing, bowl cut-having civilian?

“Julia just looks waaaaaaaaay too much for his character in this!” Jenkins tweeted. “On their first date Julia had that braid AND that onesie body suit tucked into jeans and flat heel boots, she was basically Jay-Lo on IN LIVING COLOR! Translation: TEW MUCH FOR HUGH!!!”

Throughout the watch, Jenkins would cut in with the kinds of comments you make to your friends while seeing a movie for the first time. “Isn’t that that guy? From that thing?” “Was that character always in a wheelchair? Or did I miss something?”

Eventually, the rom-com magic took over, though, and Jenkins started to understand what Roberts might have seen in a guy like Hugh Grant.

“Julia Roberts on a roof in Notting Hill. In Hugh Grants sweatshirt… little to no makeup. Reebok trainers. Wow. If I were Julia and I saw myself in the mirror, SAW MYSELF looking that way, FEELING that comfortable? Okay THEN… then I would get it,” he wrote.

At one point, the movie even seemed to give the director a renewed sense of excitement about his field of work.

“I love that I get to do this for a living,” he tweeted. “I have no idea what [Hugh Grant’s] saying but he better be spitting some SERIOUS English Cat Game because that’s JULIA FUGGIN ROBERTS bruh.”

Once he’d reached the ending, (spoiler alert: the rom-com ends… romantically) Jenkins said he had “whiplash” from the rollercoaster of emotions.

It seemed like a positive experience for the director, who joked that he “need[ed] a coffee” after looking back at some of the tweets.

When his seatmate eventually queued up The Proposal, he decided to throw in the towel and call it a night.

The Daily Dot