To say that Scarlett O’Brien is a movie fanatic is putting it mildly. This small-town girl lives for movies. At any given moment, it seems, her mind has taken her out of boring reality and into her favorite scenes – much to the disappointment of her boyfriend at the most intimate of times.
McNamara does a fabulous job of juxtaposing what Scarlett is doing with the movie version she longs for. Each movie reference is to something familiar, without being painfully obvious. My greatest fear when I first picked up the book was that the story-line would be compromised for the need to name drop films. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Early in the novel, Scarlett gets the chance of a lifetime: to house-sit in Notting Hill. Perfectly timed with the need to take a break from her fiance, Scarlett embarks on a mission to clear her head, and to prove that life really can be like a movie.
She immediately makes friends with lovable Oscar while searching for her new home, and inherits a set of friends worthy of Bridget Jones. Add a snarky-but-cute neighbor, a dash of flirting, and a sprinkle of movie references and you’ve got the recipe for a page-turning night in.
This too-fun-to-put-down novel deserves an equally pleasing wine. Pair “From Notting Hill with Love…Actually” with Paco & Lola Albarino 2009. Much as I’m often drawn into the cutest book on the shelf, I can’t help but judge this wine by the label: the flirty and playful polka dot label is almost as cheesy as the book’s title. And yet, in both cases, it absolutely works. Paco & Lola Albarino’s bright notes of zesty fruits matches Scarlett’s fanciful daydreams of a life in the movies. This creamy, aromatic white has a long finish that will keep you sipping all night. Grab a big glass – you might not be able to put it – or the book – down all evening.