One of the great things about the new film from Richard Curtis is that it makes you feel good. Love Actually opened in theatres two weeks ago, but is still getting attention for its pre-Christmas themes. One of the many premises of the film is that anything can be asked, said and done on Christmas, as sort of a last resort.
But is this true? Can we actually confess our love to our boss and then, when asked for a reason, state “Well, it’s Christmas, so I just thought I would try.”? This movie answers yes.
The story is an intertwining of several characters, some related to one another and all connected in some way. However, get your popcorn and go to the bathroom before the movie, because if you miss five minutes, you’ll be lost. We are first introduced to Colin Firth as Jamie, a writer who has found love. However, upon returning home from a friend’s wedding he finds his love boinking his brother. Nice start.
We then move onto the newly widowed Liam Neeson character who is afraid that he will never be able to love again and also worries that his 11-year-old step-son Sam, played by cutie Thomas Sangster, won’t get over his mom’s death. So far, I am not feeling the love.
Ah, but then we meet eye candy Hugh Grant as the newly elected prime minister of Britain. He immediately begins to feel all fuzzy over his tea girl, the very cute Martine McCutcheon. The two share laughs but keep it professional in the office. No cigar scandals here in jolly old England four weeks before Christmas.
Another memorable character is that of Billy Mack, wonderfully acted by Bill Nighy. Billy is a washed-up rock star who is doing a remake of the song “Love is all around me,” but changing the words to “Christmas is all around me.” Despite Billy’s crass attitude, he manages to wiggle his way to the number one spot on the Christmas music charts.
Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play Karen and Harry, a couple who is dealing with the rush of Christmas pageants and office parties. However, there is a snake in Harry’s secretary, who charms him beyond his wife.
Phew! Almost halfway there.
Kiera Nightly of Pirates of the Carribean fame plays a young bride who is afraid that her new husband’s best friend hates her, but she ends up getting more than she bargains for when the best friend shows up at her door with a sweet surprise. Ladies, get your tissues out for that scene. For all you cynics, shut up, we all know movies are make-believe, let us romantics dream a little.
Now, let’s see, have I forgotten anyone? Oh yes! Billy Bob Thorton is great as the American president. He plays the right amount of sleaze and suaveness, nicely contrasted against the ever -polite Brits that fog up the movie screen with their cleanliness and nice clothes.
There is heartache and loneliness mixed up with the couples who do find their love they’ve been searching for. One character who gets no love is Sarah, who works at Harry’s office. She can’t ever sit down and have a drink with someone because of her mentally ill brother who calls her at all hours to tell her his troubles.
This movie definitely is the right mix of how screwed up love can make you feel and how good it feels when it fits all together.
The love is not always perfect and the movie does show you that love doesn’t always come easy. Love is work sometimes and as clich