The elegant avenues and architecture of Kensington Gardens make perfect locations for romantic comedies. The fountains in the Italian Garden near Bayswater Road, the Albert Memorial off Kensington Gore and the Serpentine Gallery have all featured in successful films in the past ten years. Regular visitors to the Gardens will have seen some of the biggest names in Hollywood at work here, including Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham Carter and Renee Zellweger.
The most fitting film to be shot here must be Finding Neverland (2004). This is the story of the novelist J M Barrie, who was inspired to write Peter Pan during afternoon strolls in the Gardens more than 100 years ago. Barrie (played by Johnny Depp) makes friends with Sylvia Llewellyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four sons. True to fact, the film uses Kensington Gardens for the scenes where Barrie meets the boys and then entertains them with his imaginative stories. Watch the film carefully and you might find the very bench in the Gardens that Michael Llewellyn Davies (Luke Spill) hides under when he first meets Barrie.
Kensington Gardens is also a star location in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the 2004 sequel to the phenomenally successful Bridget Jones's Diary. Mark Darcy (played by Colin Firth) challenges Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) to a fist fight. Their brawl over 30-something Bridget (Renee Zellweger) begins at The Serpentine Gallery and ends up as an epic water fight in the central basin of the Italian Garden. See The Regent's Park for more Bridget Jones locations.
The Italian Garden also features in Wimbledon (2004), the romantic comedy about tennis hot-shot Lizzie Bradbury (played by Kirsten Dunst) and Peter Colt (Paul Bettany), who is making his final appearance at the All England Championships. During a break from the tournament, the couple tour London, visiting the Gardens and the Albert Memorial.
The Serpentine Gallery is the setting in The Wings of the Dove (1997) for a meeting between the lovers Kate Croy and Merton Densher (played by Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roach) and the innocent heiress, Millie Theale (Alison Elliot). (See Brompton Cemetery and St James's Park for more The Wings of the Dove locations.)
The Albert Memorial also appears in The Jokers (1967), staring Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) and the 2002 Indian romance Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (also known as Let's be friends).