hugh grant

Hugh Grant Saying ‘Um’ Is My ASMR

Hugh Grant.
Hugh Grant. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Are you ever in the mood to be, well, in that kind of mood? You know the one that I’m talking about — I need not say it. (Though I will: horny.) But also, you want a little something else — what American kids who studied French for four years in high school might call je ne sais quoi. You’re looking for an extra layer of feeling to add to that cocktail you’re already experiencing. Not quite dread or distress, but something close. Like, say, anxiety.

Well, then do I have the cinematic masterpiece for you. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of British rom-com Notting Hill, the Toronto International Film Festival created a super cut of every time Hugh Grant stammers in the movie, which he does, uh, quite a bit: The video is more than two minutes long.

As soon as you hit play, a warm feeling envelops you — how I imagine a long hug from Grant might feel. But as the pace of the video quickens, around ten seconds in, in creeps a familiar, unwelcome feeling that makes your heart race in a totally different way. The “uhs” and “ums” that you first found endearing start to become stressful, as you start to crave the relief that anything more than a stammer would give you. Just spit it out already, Hugh! you might find yourself driven to yell at the video, which by the end, is nearly unbearable — like edging, but for your nervous system. Finally, Julia Roberts comes in at the last second to put you out of your misery by delivering an entire sentence, which then ushers back in those affectionate feelings you felt at the beginning.

And then, there’s only one thing you can do: Hit replay.

Well, Now I’m Turned on and Anxious