14 years ago today, Love Actually hit theaters.
Set in London a month before Christmas, the movie is about eight couples whose narratives and lives are loosely entwined. Daniel (Liam Neeson) has recently lost his wife and is trying to figure out how to raise his stepson. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is in love with Juliet (Keira Knightley). Juliet is married to Mark’s best friend Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Karen (Emma Thompson) and Harry (the late Alan Rickman) are a long time married couple. Harry’s eyes are starting to wander towards his secretary. Karen’s brother, The Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) has a crush on his assistant. I could go on, but I will let the trailer speak for itself.
What I love about the movie (besides the fact that part of the cast have been in Austen adaptations) is that this movie is neither overly romantic, overly corny, nor does it bash the audience over the head that it’s Christmas. It’s about love, relationships and the need for a human connection, none of which are confined to the Christmas season or to those who celebrate Christmas.
If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It is one of the few Christmas movies, that in my opinion, are worth watching.
Over the years, Hollywood has released a plethora of Christmas movies.
In this post, I want to talk about one of my favorite Christmas movies, Love Actually (2003). The movie is about eight different couples who are loosely connected over the course of the Christmas season.
Set in London, England, every couple is dealing with their own unique struggles. Jamie (Colin Firth) is in love with Aurelia (Lucia Moniz), a Portuguese woman who does not speak English. Harry (Alan Rickman) and Karen (Emma Thompson) have been comfortably married for a number of years. Then Mia (Heike Makatsch) is hired as his secretary. Karen’s brother, David (Hugh Grant) is the newest Prime Minister. He has developed a crush on Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), one of his junior staffers. Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are newlyweds. Peter’s best friend, Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is secretly in love with Juliet. Daniel (Liam Neeson) is dealing with the dual loss of his wife and raising his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster).
This is one of my favorite Christmas movie for several reasons. First, the mostly British cast (some who have appeared in iconic Jane Austen adaptations). Secondly, the movie is just plain fun. Thirdly, this film is far from the cheesy, predictable Hallmarkish film that it could have been. (Not that there is anything wrong with Hallmark films, I personally don’t care for them). Fourth and finally, these characters are human and not cardboard cutouts.
I absolutely recommend it.