December 19: Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually. Directed by Richard Curtis. Universal Pictures, 2003.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • Why have I literally spent my life thinking this movie was called Love, Actually? Where did the comma come from? Why did I think she belonged there?
  • I have seen Love Actually a couple of times, but not in years, and not since the recent “wait, everyone in this movie is garbage” movement online
  • There are ten interconnected plotlines in this movie, so I’m going to organize my post-screening snippets by story

Post-Screening Snippets

  • The Billy Mack and Joe story is the most hilarious of all the plotlines. First of all, Bill Nighy is hysterical in the role. The recording session that opens the film is hilarious on every level. I love the parody of female objectification in the “Christmas is All Around” music video, I just wish the film didn’t repeat these exact offenses with its own female characters.
  • The Harry and Karen story is the most well-crafted of the dramatic plots. Obviously, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman are fantastic in their roles. It’s odd that a movie that celebrates love really shines when it conveys heartbreak. Also, “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?” is my favorite line in the whole movie.
  • The body doubles might actually be the most charming couple in the film, even in their very unsexy jobs
  • Daniel and Sam are so sweet. Baby Thomas Sangster is too cute, and this is one of Liam Neeson’s more tender performances (though, I was surprised he didn’t kill any kidnappers). The boys mimicking the Titanic moment is so precious.
  • And now we get to Juliet and the best friends. Let’s start by acknowledging that all of the op-eds that have been published over the years about Mark’s creepy behavior are justified. There is no way his unnerving wedding video doesn’t end up in a true crime docu-series. However, Andrew Lincoln can get it. Chiwetel Ejiofor can get it. Let’s open our minds to a throuple situation here, Keira. Speaking of Keira, this movie certainly is the reason I think she is older than she really is because she was an actual child when this was filmed.    
  • Wow. The Sarah and Karl storyline really got me this time. Laura Linney is heartbreaking in this role, and her character’s subplot is grounded and honest. Also, Rodrigo Santoro is one of the most beautiful people on Earth or Mars.
  • I’m not a British woman, so I’m immune to the charms of Hugh Grant. I’m sure Natalie is lovely, but her only two discernable characteristics are cursing and being unfairly called “chubby.” (Seriously, the fact that characters consistently call this thin woman chubby really bugged me, especially since she is meant to be read as such.)
  • I could not care less about the Jamie and Aurélia plot or the Colin plot.
  • I completely forgot that Mr. Bean was in this movie! Is he supposed to be angel? Cupid? What’s going on, Zazu?

The Final Hot Chocolate

            Love Actually is delightful, heartbreaking, frustrating, and quite funny. It’s like a holiday dinner with family, but with Mr. Bean.

GRADE: B+

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