Listening for Grammar – Present Perfect – Notting Hill Scene
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This scene comes from the film “Notting Hill”. The people are sitting at a dinner table and playing a “last brownie” game.
The person who’s had the saddest life up till now is supposed to get the last piece of brownie. So everyone talks about how unhappy they are:((
Watch the clip first without looking at the script. Then watch it the second time and listen for the missing words. All the gapped words require the use of Present Perfect.
MAX: I'm going to give the last brownie as a prize to the saddest act here.
BERNIE: Well, obviously it's me, isn't it. I mean, I work in the City in a job I don't understand and everyone keeps getting promoted above me. I haven't (had) a girlfriends since... puberty and, nobody fancies me, and if these cheeks get any chubbier, they never will.
HONEY: Nonsense. I fancy you. Or I did before you got so fat.
MAX: You see. And unless I'm much mistaken, your job still pays you rather a lot of money, whilst Honey here, she earns nothing flogging her guts out at London's worst record store.
HONEY: Yes. And I don't have hair, I've got feathers, and I've got funny goggly eyes, and I'm attracted to cruel men and no one will marry me because my boosies (have) actually (started) shrinking.
MAX: You see, incredibly sad.
BELLA: On the other hand, her best friend is Anna Scott.
HONEY: That's true, I can't deny it. She needs me, what can I say?
BELLA: And most of her limbs work. Whereas I'm stuck in this thing day and night, in a house full of ramps. And to add insult to serious injury, (I've) totally (given) (up) smoking, my favourite thing, and the truth is... we can't have a baby.
BERNIE: No. Not true...
BELLA: C'est la vie... We're lucky in lots of ways, but... Surely that’s worth a brownie.
MAX: Well, I don't know. Look at William. Very unsuccessful professionally. Divorced. Used to be handsome, now kind of squidgy around the edges, andabsolutely certain never to hear from Anna again after (she's) (heard) that his nickname at school was Floppy.
WILLIAM: Well at least I get the last brownie?
MAX: I think you do, yes.
ANNA: Wait. What about me?
MAX: I'm sorry? You think you deserve the brownie?
ANNA: Well... a shot at it, at least.
WILLIAM: You'll have to prove it. I mean, This is a very very good brownie and I'm going to fight for it.
ANNA: Well, (I've) (been) on a diet every day since I was nineteen, which basically means I've been hungry for a decade. (I've) (had) a sequence of not nice boyfriends, one of whom hit me: and every time i get my heart broken the newspapers splash it as though it was entertainment. And (it’s) (taken) two rather painful operation to get me looking like this.
ANNA: Really, and one day, not long from now... ... my looks will go, they will discover I can't act and I'll become a sad middle-aged woman who looks a bit like someone who was famous for a while.