Notting Hill is basically my favourite film – I’ve watched it over and over – and yet I’ve never spotted this hidden reference in the film’s closing moments.
First, cast your mind back to earlier in the film, when Julia Roberts’ Anna Scott first stays at William Thacker’s (Hugh Grant) flat. They’re hanging out, the atmosphere’s all romantically charged, and Anna notices the painting hanging on his wall. It’s a print of Marc Chagall’s La Mariée (which translates as “The Bride” – coincidence?) and she says, “I can’t believe you have that picture. It feels like how love should be, floating through a dark sky.”
“With a goat. Playing a violin,” says William.
Then they sleep together, the press turn up on his doorstep, they break up, mope a lot and eventually she turns up at his bookshop with a wrapped gift that looks mysteriously like a painting.
She’s just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her, but William turns her down before realising the painting Anna gifted him is actually the real thing.
Cue a speedy car journey to the hotel where she’s holding a press conference, a successful attempt to win her back and a beautiful wedding surrounded by their nearest and dearest.
Including Tony the ex-restauranteur…
But hold on, what’s that sitting in front of Tony? A wedding cake with… a violin playing goat!