Love Actually (2003)
Directed by: Richard Curtis
Written by: Richard Curtis
Starring: Alan Rickman, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy, Billy Bob Thornton, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Kris Marshall, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon, Rodrigo Santoro, Sienna Guillory
Ten separate stories of love in London around Christmas time which gradually connect. Aging rock star Billy Mack and his manager Jo, newlyweds Peter and Juliet and their friend Mark, writer Jamie and his Portuguese housekeeper Aurelia, managing director Harry, his wife Karen and his mistress Mia, Prime Minister David and his new junior staff member Natalie, recently bereaved Daniel, his stepson Sam and Sam’s classmate Joanna, luckless would-be womanizer Colin who goes to America, office worker Sarah, who cares for her mentally challenged brother, and her crush Carl, and John and Judy, who meet as body doubles for a film sex scene…………
I am going to admit right now that the ‘rom com’, at least in its modern form, is my least favourite of movie genres and I suspect that is also the case with the rest of the staff at Horror Cult Films. However, I am going to go on and admit that Love Actually is a truly lovely movie, a real heart warming treat. It may well be insanely schmaltzy, but by the end really makes you think the world is actually a pretty good place, something even this Horror Cult Films critic needs from time to time. With a warm romantic glow from beginning to end, the huge amount of stories the script has to deal with means that some are shunted off to the sidelines, and sadly too much time is spent on one of the two tales that don’t really work, Prime Minister David and Natalie, which is just incredibly hard to swallow and suffers from Hugh Grant doing his usual tiresome schtick, while the airport climax is awkward. However, so much in this movie does work, it’s possible to forgive that. All the stories differ nicely from each other and display forms of love that are all a bit different. Some contain some priceless moments, often tremendously sweet, be it a declaration of love by notice board or a proposal where neither party speaks the other’s language properly, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my favourite scenes involve hilariously bitter Billy, with Bill Nighy really standing out in the fantastic cast, and a side splitting cameo from Rowan Atkinson. Still, come the end, you may really feel ‘love is all around’, and I have no shame in saying that!