We are quickly approaching the most disheartening part of the most wonderful time of the year: the time when smart, funny adults everywhere start getting excited for what I’ve actually heard called “Love Actually season”. And since today is it’s 10th anniversary, it’s coming early this year!
What is our bizarre fascination with what is arguably Richard Curtis’s worst film? It’s not as offensive as say, Gigli, which also came out in 2003, but what is now a revered classic is not actually that good. It’s fine to watch once or maybe even twice, but how did this inane movie become the Meet Me in St. Louis of our time? Maybe 2013 should be its last year as our go-to flick of the season.
Since the movie is broken down into different stories, let’s break this down too.
Colin in America
I spent four years living in London, hoping to find my own bumbling, emotionally unavailable, sexy Brit. Unless he is the actual Hugh Grant, this endeavor will inevitably be disappointing. I am not going to pretend that I didn’t witness (and participate in) fetishizing British accents. This storyline was plausible at the start, right up until Colin arrived in Wisconsin. First of all, no one is that attractive in Wisconsin. Secondly, based on just the statistics of popularity and sexual orientation, there is no way mathematical way Colin would be the one unicorn that manages to find three horny bisexual babes who share a bed, sleep naked, and want him to spend the night.
But the biggest problem with this story is not that it’s impossible. The problem is, in addition to being an embarrassing product of Richard Curtis’s wild imagination, it is boring. That is always the ultimate reason to hate something.
Daniel and Sam
Daniel is one of the silver linings in this dark cloud that has loomed over December for the past ten years. He is a lovely stepparent and some of his scenes are actually quite moving. I don’t know how he exhibits such grace with Sam as his inherited child. Sam is not cute and, while our hearts go out to him for the loss of his mother, also kind of awful. He’s way too young to be that angsty, and Daniel – who is lovely – is probably doing all of the right things. Even if we are willing to suspend disbelief in other areas of this should-be-animated work of trite crap, we have to draw the line at the airport scene. Love Actually was filmed in 2003, two years after 9/11. There is no way that tiny Sam could have run through Heathrow security all the way to the international terminal. He would have run smack dab into the body scanner and never gotten up again.
Sarah and Karl
I’m not going to pretend that I know how it feels to be the only person responsible for taking care of an institutionalized sibling, but the way Sarah behaves is, well, not exactly healthy. Karl is sexy as all get out and interested in her even though she appears to be two decades older than him and doesn’t really have a personality to speak of. Every time I hear that mind-numbing ringtone I cringe. Are we supposed to be moved that she chose the responsibility of taking care of her brother over her romantic life? Should we be applauding that? Sarah, where are your friends? This isn’t moving or heroic, it’s stupid. Set some boundaries and have both, woman. We have come a long way, baby. We can have it all!
Jamie and Aurelia
This is by far the worst storyline in the entire film. If by some miracle it did happen, Aurelia absolutely would not have learned English “just in cases.” Proposing to someone you’ve never properly spoken to is not romantic, it is dumb.
David and Natalie
Hugh Grant is perfect and I won’t hear a word against him or any character he plays. Natalie is not fat, in fact she’s hotter than 90 percent of the British population. Leave it to an American film company, amirite? I’d say that it’s ridiculous that a recognizable British figure would get busy backstage at a school play, especially with London’s rabid tabloid culture. They already hacked into the real Hugh Grants voicemail, what would they have done here? Those pictures would be in the Daily Mail before the final curtain. That said, it hasn’t stopped Prince Harry.
Juliet, Peter and Mark
Telling your best friend’s wife that you’re in love with her after they get married is the most incredibly selfish thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life. Yes, the moment he walks out after Juliet sees that his footage is only of her is moderately moving. He’s in some fabulous knitwear and Dido’s “Here with Me” crescendos as he speed walks in agony. I would feel for him if he hadn’t been such a fool. It’s terrible to be in love with someone inappropriate and maybe he handled it in the best way he could, but honestly Mark is a terrible best friend and don’t let this film manipulate you into thinking otherwise!
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