Four Weddings and a jibe at Netflix as the film's director Richard Curtis fears 'sanitised' movies on the platform despite facing similar criticism himself for his 1999 portrayal of Notting Hill

With well-heeled characters, soft-focus settings and saccharine plotlines, his films are hardly the epitome of gritty realism.

But film director Richard Curtis has claimed attempts by US streaming service Netflix to make more productions set in Britain could distort the presentation of the country on film.

Curtis, whose hits include rom-coms Four Weddings And a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, said he once tried writing an American film but gave up because he realised it would seem unrealistic.

Film director Richard Curtis has claimed attempts by US streaming service Netflix to make more productions set in Britain could distort the presentation of the country on film. He is pictured above at a film premiere in London earlier this year

Film director Richard Curtis has claimed attempts by US streaming service Netflix to make more productions set in Britain could distort the presentation of the country on film. He is pictured above at a film premiere in London earlier this year

And he warned Netflix productions set in Britain could end up being ‘slightly sanitised, cleaned up and commercialised’ and not properly reflecting life in the UK. 

One of Netflix’s hit UK shows is The Crown, which chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times.

Curtis, 62, told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: ‘I tried to write a movie set in America, the first film I wrote, but I realised that I didn’t know what people had in their fridge, what music they were listening to, how they got to school.’

Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell are pictured above in Four Weddings And A Funeral. The film has been criticised for presenting Britain as populated by awkward, upper-middle-class people living in trendily-dishevelled homes

Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell are pictured above in Four Weddings And A Funeral. The film has been criticised for presenting Britain as populated by awkward, upper-middle-class people living in trendily-dishevelled homes

Speaking about his films, he said the ‘reason they are so British is because I’m writing about the things I know about’.

‘That’s why I’m so nervous about Netflix buying up all the talent and everything because I worry that things are going to get bent away from what we know into a sort of slightly sanitised, cleaned up and commercialised version of what we view as that experience,’ he added.

However, critics of the screenwriter’s work might level these precise charges back at him, for presenting a posh, picture-postcard view of Britain, especially London.

When his film Notting Hill came out in 1999, it baffled the area’s residents for presenting the community as a well-to-do ‘sea of whiteness’ in what is actually one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in Britain.

Similarly, Four Weddings And A Funeral has been criticised for presenting Britain as populated by awkward, upper-middle-class people living in trendily-dishevelled homes and Love Actually has been panned for depicting a ‘Christmas card’ view of the capital.

When his film Notting Hill came out in 1999, it baffled the area’s residents for presenting the community as a well-to-do ‘sea of whiteness’ in what is actually one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in Britain. Julia Roberts is pictured above in the film with Hugh Grant

When his film Notting Hill came out in 1999, it baffled the area’s residents for presenting the community as a well-to-do ‘sea of whiteness’ in what is actually one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in Britain. Julia Roberts is pictured above in the film with Hugh Grant

Four Weddings and a jibe at Netflix as Richard Curtis fears 'sanitised' movies on the platform

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