Richard Curtis: Love is the Edge

The BBC screened the latest work by screenwriter and director Richard Curtis, The Girl in the Café, on the eve of the 2005 G8 meeting at Gleneagles. Curtis’s script faces the most important issue of 2005: will this be the year when world powers seriously address the issue of world poverty – once and for all? Born in Wellington New Zealand in 1956, Richard Curtis is the son of Australian parents, his father was a Unilever executive who went onto postings in Manila, Stockholm, Folkestone and Warrington UK. He is the writer of some of the most successful romantic comedies ever made – Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Love Actually  produced by Working Title, the London film studio co-founded by Queenstown’s Tim Bevan. Curtis wrote Blackadder and Rowan Atkinson’s stage shows. He is co-founder and vice-chairman of Comic Relief, and a member of the Make Poverty History campaign. The Girl in the Café follows the story of a hard-working civil servant and his life-changing relationship with a mysterious girl whom he meets in a café opposite Downing Street. The Guardian’s 2003 feature on Curtis called him “a global power in cinema…Curtis’s trick in his films has been to make the parochial global. He’s a Big Englander: someone who, like Richard Branson, gambled that his personal values might be more widely shared.” CNN said “No doubt about it: “The Girl in the Cafe” is the best romantic comedy set at a G-8 summit you’re ever likely to see… besides packing a weighty message — significant reduction in global poverty and infant mortality is now within the grasp of world leaders — this lovely film can hold its own against any love story as it depicts a mismatched couple struggling to connect.” Socialist Unity called The Girl in the Café: “a jingoistic political broadcast on behalf of New Labour…Curtis could have weaved into the script the beginnings of colonialism and the slave trade, through to the decades following independence when the ex-colonial powers reasserted their control through creating the debt slavery system, and to the present day with G8 countries and their corporations queuing up to benefit from has been called “the new scramble for Africa”.”

Tags: BBC News  Blackadder  Make Poverty History campaign  Richard Curtis  Rowan Atkinson  The Girl in the Cafe