Belfast Telegraph

Hampstead review: Notting Hill without all the fizz

 

By Damon Smith

Cast in the same mould as Richard Curtis romcom Notting Hill, Hampstead is a twee tale of star-crossed lovers across the social divide who find common ground in a court case over squatters' rights in verdant and des-res London NW3.

It has been a year since Emily Walters (Diane Keaton) lost her philandering husband, Charles, and she has channelled her grief into volunteer work at a local charity shop.

Staring through her binoculars one afternoon, she spies hermit Donald Horner (Brendan Gleeson) in his ramshackle hut on Hampstead Heath.

Emily becomes fascinated by the foul-tempered misfit and worms her way into his simple existence. Hampstead is like a glass of expensive champagne that has lost most of its fizz, yet still slips down pleasantly enough.

Two stars

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