Love Actually (2003)
December 21, 2015 12:39 PM - Subscribe

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
posted by leotrotsky (37 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
sadly I was unable to add the tag loveisallaroundahfuckwangbuggershittingassheadandhole
posted by leotrotsky at 12:41 PM on December 21, 2015 [13 favorites]

Sits back with popcorn to watch the thread...

Though perhaps best use yet of the sayitswalkers tag!
posted by Naberius at 3:03 PM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

Love Actually and Die Hard is what me & my wife watch on xmas eve.


[ We would like a version of L.A. with the Laura Linney scenes excised ]
posted by parki at 4:34 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thanks to you, I've just now imagined Andrew Lincoln getting mauled by Zombie Keira Knightley, without hope or agenda. To me, that is perfect.
posted by mochapickle at 5:27 PM on December 21, 2015 [6 favorites]

I know it's a heap of romantic treacle, but this movie is a big guilty pleasure of mine.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:10 PM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

I watch this movie every year at this time, and just watched it last night. I know there are some problematic bits to it, but I love it so much. Richard Curtis was so on his game making this movie. I still get all teary at the very end, the use of God Only Knows as the closing song is brilliant. Was not happy to read the recent revelation about how Emma Thompson's storyline ended (spoiler alert, I guess?) Oh, and the girl Joanna at the end is played by the actress who is now Marceline the Vampire Queen on Adventure Time!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:48 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I second the "problematic but love it."

The Laura Linney bit does kill you every time, especially if you are a single loser sort who just wants to scream when it comes to the end of that storyline. "No, I'm not busy!" And I got awfully tired of the fat insults and Mia just gives me the squickins and the whole cheating plot does too, and Colin gets laid WAY too easily.

On the other hand, there's crazy dancing, good singing, airport shenanigans, getting kicked in the face by love and its preparations for doing so are sweet, the Billy Mack plotline is funny and surprisingly touching...

So yeah: problematic but also good.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:03 PM on December 21, 2015 [4 favorites]

My SO watched this on Sunday but was unable to get an Only Connect question about it on Monday. Tut.

People want Laura Linney cut out but the first time I watched this Martin Freeman's whole story line was removed. Because I have only tended to watch it in the background since I still tend not to think of him as being in it - I don't have a very clear idea of what happens to him.
posted by biffa at 11:37 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

This movie went through a weird backlash around its 10th anniversary with article after article being written about how overrated and terrible it was (seriously, the number of think pieces that have come out regarding this movie would make you believe it was a film with Citizen Kane level ambitions rather than a rom-com) to the point where I now consider it underrated.
posted by The Gooch at 12:04 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, back when this movie came out, I hated it with a violent burning flames-on-the-side-of-my-face passion (and tbh if I had to watch it again, probably still would) and had to stop myself from engaging in lengthy rage-discourses every time it was casually mentioned, but after all the 10th anniversary articles, I started feeling so bad about it that now I'm more like, "Yeah, Love Actually, that was a... good... movie [stiff smile] Let's talk about Bill Nighy now."
posted by thetortoise at 2:42 AM on December 22, 2015

(but let's be real what kind of person chooses some godawful nice-guy routine AFTER THE WEDDING over Chiwetel Ejiofor I mean wtf is wrong with you, that hat obv)
posted by thetortoise at 2:47 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

True story: some years ago I was best man for a friend's wedding. They'd chosen a groovy inner-city hotel for the ceremony and reception, a finger-food and boutique beer menu, a night out clubbing with the gang instead of the 'wedding night' - basically the whole works for a young urban couple on the make, right? Then his fiancé's bitterly-divorced parents turn up. We go from smart casual to formal, the nightclubbing is now staying in a beachside resort... with all the family. The wedding is moved from ten minutes from the CBD to a vineyard two hours away, and no accomodation within half an hour of that. Buses are arranged for the folks staying at the resort, but the rest of us (who can't afford $450 a night at any sort of notice) aren't so lucky - very nearly including my friend's mother! All of the wedding that they wanted was ditched because the competing divorcees were desperately trying to one-up each other on how much money was spent.

So the way my mate decided to wrest back control of his own wedding was...

Secretly hiring members of a local marching band to be in the wedding congregation and recreating the 'All You Need Is Love' scene from Love Actually.

I mean, yes, tears, laughter, etc., but I'm telling you it's really frickin' cheesy in real life.

All of the non-family wedding party stayed in a backpackers in the nearest town. After the do, we got mashed on dirty vodka, danced to the shit DJ and spent about four hours shouting "Seriously, what the fuck just happened?!" at each other. Then we crashed the breakfast buffet for the family at the resort in the morning and ate everything, 'cause fuck it, we weren't paying...
posted by prismatic7 at 3:57 AM on December 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

I haven't watched this Christmas season yet, which is weird for me as I have usually watched it at least twice with a bottle of wine. Hmm. It might be too late now, I guess?

(I love this movie, even with all its problematic bits.)
posted by Kitteh at 6:54 AM on December 22, 2015

Kitteh, It's not too late! You have a solid four days to get around to watching it. Hugh Grant's storyline taught us two things- 1) Hugh Grant dancing in a film is delightful, and 2) it's never too late.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:10 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

My husband: "Are you--are you packing the Love, Actually DVD???"

Me: "We'll be out of town but I have a quota to meet."

Husband: *quietly weeps*
posted by Kitteh at 7:36 AM on December 22, 2015 [10 favorites]

I'd just like to point out that Daniel/Qui-Gon Jinn really has a shit track record with raising little kids, as Sam grows up to work for the First Order.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:42 AM on December 22, 2015 [10 favorites]

I always say that I think it helps to remember this movie was made in 2003, not terribly long after the 9/11/01 attacks, and was basically meant as a gigantic "cheer up!" letter to a world that was still feeling the shock. I think it can be forgiven a few things for that.

There are about two moments where I cry, on cue, every time. One is, obviously, little kid running through the airport. I could come across that scene at random on some TV channel, without the prior 2hrs of movie, and still the moment he takes off running and the music swells I just lose it. Pavlovian at this point.

The other is cue card guy. Yes, I know many people think he's a bit creepy stalker. But c'mon, have you never been just crushed with the weight of an unrequited love? Although I have a tweak I wish they'd done, that I think would make him seem less creepy to some, and better illustrate what I empathize with in him: Imagine if instead of the bride, he was crushing on the groom, his best buddy who is hopelessly straight, so this love is just never gonna happen. (It would also broaden the spectrum of the film by including a LGBT story - and yes, I'm aware there was a lesbian storyline that was cut for time.)

Lastly, if we learn only one thing from this movie, it's that if you have Rodrigo Santoro naked in your bed you DO NOT ANSWER THE DAMN PHONE!
posted by dnash at 8:05 AM on December 22, 2015 [8 favorites]

Leotrotsky doesn't even mention the Taken franchise. Eventually even Neeson himself had to admit, "that's just bad parenting."
posted by Naberius at 8:24 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

this is the best hugh grant role that hugh grant ever played, the excellence of which was enhanced by the perfection of billy bob thornton's character.

also it came out when i lived in europe and a lot of my british friends were excited for BBT's character to somehow be offensive? to me? what? and their hopes were tragically dashed when i naturally found him to be glorious and accurate.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:46 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

The other is cue card guy. Yes, I know many people think he's a bit creepy stalker. But c'mon, have you never been just crushed with the weight of an unrequited love?

Not a close friend's spouse, no, but even if I credited that one I'd have a problem with the eventual card thing where he tells her. Because that's the line crossing of making it someone else's problem. Difficult feelings and situations you have to cope with are a part of life. It's how you handle them that determines your character.

That's probably the least ughy way it could have been handled in a way that works in a movie, but I'm comfortable still judging it to be kinda gross.
posted by phearlez at 9:42 AM on December 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

Because that's the line crossing of making it someone else's problem.

I wonder if we're reading different things into what he's doing in that scene. Do you believe he's there trying to win her over to his side, away from her new husband? Cuz yeah, if that's what he's doing, it's shitty. But that's not what I see him doing at all.

He tried to keep it to himself - albeit in the awkwardest possible way by avoiding contact with her. But she barged in and found out. What I see him doing in the cue card scene is basically saying "ok, you found me out, so, yeah, I'm in love with you, and that's awkward cuz he's my best friend, but right now there's just nothing much I can do about it. So let me just say it this once and hopefully we can move on from here." It's closer to an apology, really, is what I see. And then that muttered "enough" as he walks away - he's telling himself he can let go now.
posted by dnash at 10:05 AM on December 22, 2015 [16 favorites]

>Was not happy to read the recent revelation about how Emma Thompson's storyline ended (spoiler alert, I guess?)

Oh, that was so clear to me; after she finds out, her face never loses that sorrow. Her seeing Alan Rickman at the end and giving him a welcome home hug with a pasted-on smile makes me cry every time.

Emma Thompson is too good for most things.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:14 AM on December 22, 2015 [16 favorites]

One of the cool revelations to come out of the Emma Freud live tweet of the movie was that a lot of the hysterical January Jones material came from Jones herself (see #8). Suck it, Betty Draper haters.
posted by The Gooch at 10:53 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

One of the cool revelations to come out of the Emma Freud live tweet of the movie was that a lot of the hysterical January Jones material came from Jones herself

That's awesome! I love that scene, because I could also be entertained for a couple of hours listening to British people say things like "table" and "bottle."
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 11:32 AM on December 22, 2015

Oh, these tweets are so good! I would LOVE to be a kissing consultant!
posted by mochapickle at 11:47 AM on December 22, 2015

I second dnash: he's doing it literally without hope or expectation, specifically because he got busted and now he has to address the elephant in the room that will be around for the rest of his best friendship. It's a way for him to admit it (since spitting it out is a problem for him) and to reassure her that he's not going to make any trouble for her and her marriage and his friend. I think it's very nice.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:48 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

I somehow missed the fact that this film had become such a phenomenon until this year, so I relented and watched it with one of my friends. I have to say, although there is very little in this film I actually enjoyed, the whole production is justified by the fact that they put Rowan Atkinson and Alan Rickman in a scene together.
posted by davejh at 3:27 PM on December 22, 2015

I love this movie unashamedly, and watch it every year around this time. I love every storyline, including the one where Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman's characters stay together and I choose to believe that their marriage is better afterward. When she cries listening to Joni Mitchell though, that whole present scene kills me. And I smile like a looney at the Portuguese Colin Firth resolution, especially at the "apparently he is going to kill Aurelia" bit. The funeral with Liam Neeson and the Bay City Rollers. The cue cards (and yes, I agree that this is just how he addresses the elephant in the room and it isn't meant to be stalkerish or creepy, just an acknowledgement), but much moreso how Andrew Lincoln and Kiera Knightley act in the scene where she watches the wedding video, and says "oh, I look quite pretty" like she is genuinely surprised, and then slowly realizes why all the video is of her, and she is so kind and NOT a bitch about it, and his face as she is watching....that scene just wrecks me. And Hugh Grant dancing, there is NO FILM that wouldn't be improved by Hugh Grant dancing, Schindler's List, Star Wars, Grave of the Fireflies, Triumph of the Will. He is SO FUNNY and also SO GOOD AT IT. "Are we calling her fat?" is awesome and "shit, now I've gone and said fuck" is probably the most charming swearing ever captured on film.

Did I mention I love this film?

And he's got a big knooooooob!
posted by biscotti at 4:30 PM on December 22, 2015 [12 favorites]

So I finally watched it for the season. My husband then chose that time to walk into the room, look at the TV and say, "Oh hey, it's that movie where white men get everything they want," and walked out.
posted by Kitteh at 5:57 PM on December 22, 2015 [19 favorites]

But that's every movie...
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 PM on December 22, 2015 [8 favorites]

I love Love, Actually. I always want(ed) more, and am touched to see the deleted story line, of which I'd have wanted much, much more. I want to sit and discuss how all of the various characters are interrelated, and then do it again. I want to know whether Tony had a story that landed on the cutting room floor. John and Judy (the adorable porn couple) know Tony from his job as a production assistant, and Tony is Colin's friend. But although Tony is the only other black character (besides Chiwetel Ejiofor's Peter), Tony gets so little to do or say. (Only Karl seems to get less.) I wanted a few more loops so that John & Judy have more connections to other characters.

And I think dnash's take on Mark and his cue cards is spot on!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:33 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

We have the technology... rimshot... to create a new version, inserting the best of Bill Nighy's scenes from the Underworld series. Oh and perhaps if the cuts and cgi work out a lesbian scene between Kate Beckinsale and Keira Knightley that ends with Keira's disembowelment. Then slip the remastered DVD's into holiday $5 special bins around the world.
posted by sammyo at 9:51 AM on December 24, 2015

Another devoted fan here, despite the problematic bits.

A favourite part that friends and I do over and over around this time of year:

[Hugh Grant holds up hands as he passes Natalie] "Hi!"
[mutters to himself] "..pathetic."
posted by gursky at 6:21 AM on December 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

My husband and I started calling each other "Plumpy" after watching this film. I love this film despite the noted problematic bits, and I watch it every year in December.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:38 PM on January 2, 2016

It just occurred to me, is she named Natalie because it's a Christmas movie? Natalie is from the Late Latin name Natalia, which meant "Christmas Day" from Latin natale domini.

I bet she is.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:52 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Something I just realized last night in my yearly re-watch: From the DVD extras I'd learned long ago that the Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson character was at one point meant to be an angel that would interact with more of the stories. Which explains why he shows up to help Sam bust past the security guy at the airport. But I also just realized that his whole bumbling shop clerk bit (which has always annoys me) - he's trying to STOP the guy from doing something really stupid by buying the necklace for the secretary. He's trying to do him a favor! I never thought of it that way before.
posted by dnash at 7:53 AM on December 25, 2022

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