How ironic that the girl who doesn’t care much for romantic comedies would actually like what is billed as “the ultimate romantic comedy”. It’s also the ultimate palate cleanser for when you’ve overdosed on a certain horror series.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. I know you think I only like this because a certain actor is in it, and you’re wrong! All wrong! I mean, sure, that helps…but come on. There’s more to it than that!
It’s the overlapping story of a whole bunch of folks living in London and their various stories involving love set around Christmas time. Cue the “awwww”s right about now. There’s the Prime Minister and his secretary; his sister and her husband; a man who has lost his wife to cancer and his stepson, who is in love; stand-ins on an adult film; a jilted writer and his housekeeper, neither of whom speak each other’s languages; a past-his-prime rock star and his manager; two office workers with problems of their own; a happy couple with a friend who loves the bride thrown into the mix, and so on and so forth. All stories flow in and out of each other surprisingly well. Some are very well done and others are just…so typically Hollywood romantic that I can’t get quite involved in them.
Love Actually has its problems. Like all romantic comedies, at some point I find myself spacing a bit. What makes me like Love Actually is the variety. Even though the idea of 8 million people having their own stories shoved into one movie gets very overloaded very quickly, the variety is really, really nice, especially because I can fast-forward past the ones I don’t care for.
I’ve never pinned down exactly why I don’t like romantic comedies, but I think part of it is that things like this don’t particularly appeal to me as “romantic” or make me sigh, in the slightest.
My version of a romantic comedy would never get made, because it would involve that man (maybe, he could always be recast) holding a copy of Die Hard and Die Hard II and no silly sign. My standards: they are low…I think.
It’s the less syrup-y stuff that gets me. Like Bill Nighy as the aging rocker who insults everyone and everything live – on the radio, on TV, in his videos. Or Emma Thompson, as Alan Rickman’s poor, put-upon wife.
The scene where she realizes Alan Rickman is semi-cheating on her is so god-awfully sad that I don’t even know where to start with it. She gives herself a few minutes and then just soldiers on before getting a chance to confront Rickman’s character.
As far as I’m convinced, this is what I picture in my head when I think of Bill Nighy.
Add in some nice random parts with Rowan Atkinson, who I am always shocked to see in speaking roles, and that is what makes me like Love Actually. It’s the sugar-coated stuff that kind of breaks me down a bit about the movie; if it weren’t for that, Love Actually would be farther up the Great List of Movies That I Love.
The whole story involving Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister standing up to the President of the United States for the love of a secretary is just so inhumanely boring to me. I think it’s mainly because I’ve never quite understood the mass appeal of Hugh Grant, who plays Hugh Grant in every movie. It’s worked out quite nicely for him but I just…don’t get it.
Speaking of not getting it…
I really don’t get it.
What in God’s name is so heavenly about this man? I mean, he’s pretty ordinary to me, so I don’t get the massive swoon-fests that happen in his name. Plus, he’s like the next coming of Hugh Grant to me, so … meh. The few movies he’s been in that I’ve seen, it seems as though he’s got Hugh Grant Syndrome and he’s just playing himself. Goodness. Plus, I find the ending to his story so predictably “romantic” that I just kind of roll my eyes, move on and hit “fast forward”.
Did you honestly think you’d make it all the way through without at least SOME mention of what is also one of my favorite stories of the movie?
Awww. Neeson’s storyline is decent, with an ending that doesn’t feel like you’re being bashed over the head with true love. And his son is actually kinda adorable.
The movie needs to be trimmed. There’s at least one or two storylines in particular they could’ve thrown out completely. As I understand it, the movie’s heavily trimmed as it is, but it’s LONG — really long, and there’s just so much stuff going on that sometimes it’s hard to not necessarily keep up, but keep up caring about all the different stuff going on.
It’s good…but it could have been significantly better.