"Love Actually" (2003)

Rating: R:15 (for sexuality, nudity and language)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Richard Curtis
Written By: Richard Curtis
In Theatres: Nov 21st, 2003
Runtime: 135 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures

Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are David (Hugh Grant), the handsome newly elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon), Sarah (Laura Linney), a graphic designer whose devotion to her mentally ill brother complicates her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), a married man tempted by his attractive new secretary.

I’m not sure what to say to this film. On one hand, I don’t like it. I think there are too many characters, too many stories, and too much sentimentality. Yet on the other hand…well, it has its own little charm that sort of wins you over without you realising it. 

The name is sort of ironic given that the majority of the stories are filled with disappointments and drawn out fuss. It’s not love, actually. It’s something else. It’s something tedious and laboured and stretched out until its blue in the face from being shoved down our throats for over 2 hours. It definitely should not be that length of a film anyway. Cut away 40 minutes and maybe it would work.
The whole story with Keira Knightley’s character disappointed me drastically. Here’s why. I thought her husband’s best friend was gay. Watching the scene of their wedding, I was full sure it was a case of jealousy towards her. But then he’s just spent the whole time filming her? And he actually was in love with her, not her husband. What a cliché. I think my version would have been far more of a twist and might have brought some life to this drawn out soppy drama. When he’s holding up the big cards with the writing on it though towards the end, that is sweet, I can’t deny that. And Keira Knightley is a lovely actress. 

The two doing the nudity photoshoot or whatever it was – what on earth was that? I just don’t see the necessity for it. I feel like that storyline should have been cut, and was purely put in there for the sake of it – because, why wouldn’t you have some nudity?! I just…I don’t get it. I never did. I never will. Why was it in this film? It’s not even funny. Also, it makes what could have been a nice Christmas film to sit down to with your mother, aunt, sister, cousin, what have you, very awkward, very quickly. Unnecessary. 

Also, can I be the one to say that Bill Nighy's character is one of the most annoying to ever grace our film screens. The end. 

I’ve had a lot of negative things to say, so now I’m going to move onto the positive before you think I’m an awful Grinch in this festive time of year. I like the scenes between Liam Neson’s character and his son. I think it’s quite cute. Also, they watch Titanic. That scene always makes me so happy because I love that movie. 

I also happen to like the relationship between Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon’s characters. I liked her character, I’ve always thought she was very sweet and innocent. Hugh Grant projects his usual awkward fumbling character-persona but next to hers, it becomes more tolerable given the circumstance. Their little romance is cute.

Roan Atkinson makes an appearance actually if you please! I was so used to seeing him as Mr Bean when I first watched this film, that to witness him in such a snobbish sort of role here selling jewellery, I laughed. He’s a funny guy. 

And of course, we have the storyline between Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman. I’ll be honest here. I found their storyline boring and a bit tedious. But both are (were) such marvellous actors you go along with it anyway. Similar to Roan Atkinson, I was so used to only seeing Alan Rickman in Harry Potter at the time of my first viewing of this film, that it was so odd to me seeing him in this role. I’ve since seen him in many of his other roles, but of the ones outside of Harry Potter, this was my first. Great actor. So hard to believe he’s gone. But he’s left behind so many memorable performances. Emma Thompson is fantastic as well. I just didn’t like her character in this. 

I think you either love this movie or you hate it. There is no in between, really. And many people do seem to really like it. As these types of movies go, I do think this is the best one and most worth watching. The others like “Mother’s Day” and “Valentines’ Day” and “Leap Year” are not…they’re not worth it. Although “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” did surprise me, that one wasn’t too bad either. 

I apologise for such negativity throughout this post. I didn’t intend it to be so much when I started writing. As I say it has a certain charm. I don’t know. What are people’s opinions of this film? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.