The Julia Roberts Effect

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Shaina Semaña


What’s your ideal chick flick? Are you into a Cinderella-type of story? Do you have a knack for grand gestures? Or perhaps you’re into a story about soul searching? Whatever you’re looking for in a chick flick, we’re pretty sure there’s a Julia Roberts film for you.

She’s Beverly Hills’ Vivian, America’s sweetheart in Notting Hill and a bubbly bride-to-be—she’s the queen—the Julia Roberts. She is known for many award-winning drama roles, with 3 Golden Globes and 1 Oscar under her name. But aside from her prime performances in drama films, Julia is loved for being our favorite chick flick heroine, making you wish you’re just like the character she portrays.

Celebrating her and her feel-good films, here are the High Five Julia Roberts flicks we all love.


Notting Hill

Photo from Movieclips on YouTube.

Boy meets girl, they fall in love, get hurt, then they get back together to live happily ever—pretty much like any other typical love story, except boy is your basic British boy and girl is America’s sweetheart and biggest film star. Here, Julia plays Anna Scott, a Hollywood actress who’s doing press tours where she met travel bookshop owner, William Thacker (played by Hugh Grant) along the street of Notting Hill. They create an instant connection but everything starts to be complicated when Anna’s Hollywood fame meddles in.

The Julia Effect: Uttering the ever famous line “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”, Julia plays a role close to her heart, adding charm in the character and the film itself that only the America’s sweetheart can give.

Watch Julia as Anna Scott on Netflix.



Pretty Woman

One of the pillars of the romcom genre and contributes to Julia’s romcom queen status. Julia plays the Beverly Hills prostitute Vivian who falls in love with rich businessman Edward, played by Richard Gere. It’s romantic, sweet, showing love in two different worlds. Julia’s role, along with the film plot itself, might be argued to romanticize class difference but it is exactly why it was ahead of its time.

The Julia Effect: Julia’s Vivian is the modern-day Cinderella that nobody expected. She’s bold but could be innocent; fierce and warmhearted all at the same time; strong yet vulnerable—Vivian is complex and Julia brought the character to life like no other could.  Even though it’s one of her earliest roles, she was able to show an exquisite portrayal of a rather complicated character.

Pretty Woman is available for rent on YouTube. 


My Best Friend’s Wedding

In this 1997 classic, Julia plays what seems to the best representation of a hopeless romantic. She plays Julianne Porter, who goes on a mission to break up the wedding of her best friend-slash-one-true-love while acting as the maid of honor of her new competition and bride-to-be. This lowkey a chaotic film, co-starring Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, and Rupert Everett, will teach a thing or two about love, friendship and acceptance.

The Julia Effect: In all honesty, if there’s one way to describe Julianne in the words of a millennial, you’d end up with problematic. Trying to break up your friend’s wedding because you’re in love with him is wrong in so many levels. But Julia’s charming performance, you will find yourself rooting for Julianne and wishing for her own happy ending.

Rent or buy My Best Friend’s Wedding on YouTube.


Runaway Bride

Nine years since Pretty Woman, Julia reunites with Richard Gere and Gary Marshall in yet another romcom guilty pleasure. In this 1999 film, Julia plays Maggie, a woman who constantly leaves her grooms in the altar—hence the title—and Ike, a New York journalist who follows her and writes her story. There are a lot of bickering and even more romantic connection, proving Julia and Richard’s chemistry once again.

The Julia Effect: Not only did Julia proved her timeless chemistry with Richard, but she was also able to showcase her undeniable and unique charm. She brought herself in the character, making Maggie’s bubbliness and roughness like her own. Her personal portrayal made you feel like you’re running with Maggie and, in the end, you found yourself with her too.

Catch the Runaway Bride on YouTube.


Eat, Pray, Love

In one of her most notable performances in the 2010s, Julia brings the life of author Elizabeth Gilbert into the screen in this biographical film. It tells Guilbert’s journey to different corners of the world in search of a new life that she has always wanted.

The Julia Effect: This film is one of the first few films that made the term soul searching a thing. Julia made the role and film as it was her living Guilbert’s life. Her authenticity as an actor expressed the blissfulness of throwing everything away for a trip of self-discovery. She will definitely make you rethink your life and inspire you to go on a soul-searching trip yourself.

Wherever you think you are in your life right now, be it a romantic stage or you find yourself in a journey of self-discovery, there is sure a Julia Roberts flick to match your mood or, even better, inspire you. So, which Julia fave is up on your next girl friends’ movie night?



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