HCF Xmas Advent Calendar #11: LOVE ACTUALLY [2004]

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Written by:
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

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About Dr Lenera 1952 Articles
I'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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