Love Actually (UK/France, 2003)

Directed by: Richard Curtis. This movie doesn’t suck, actually. It has all the ingredients of a movie I’d hate: a blind, simpleminded embrace of love as the glue of the universe, a bunch of kids, and fucking Christmas of all times of the year. Maybe this is why the film won me over, because in the face of such daunting odds, it was just plain funny, which is actually astonishing for a film bearing the “romantic comedy” label. I’m always tempted to point to the differences in repressed Puritan garbagey American “nice” humour and more relaxed, European Brit humour. The Brits aren’t fundamentally mortified by the idea of sexuality, and their adults don’t mind the odd bit of “adult language” when it’s deployed in a playful fashion as it is in this movie. This script in the hands of a Hollywood studio would be complete and utter garbage, but I’ll let that lie for now. A pretty concrete reason for its high quality of humour is Richard Curtis, whose other romcom works I’m sadly unfamiliar with, but who co-created the occasionally brilliant Blackadder series. Bill Nighy is absolutely amazing to watch in this slightly off-type role as an overly cynical and inappropriately sexual aging rock star. Curtis is one of the people who really knows how to use Hugh Grant without making him completely infuriating. This world was made for Grant, and also for Colin Firth, who is basically in this movie an A-grade Hugh Grant—but it works. For me this whole thing works simply because they really go for it. There are no half measures in this world—love is all that matters and if you drop your defenses, as with this movie, you’ll be rewarded. Take a look at the cast and you’ll be swept away. If you aren’t, then this movie will probably suck for you.

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One response to “Love Actually (UK/France, 2003)

  1. Pingback: The Grey (USA, 2012) | Offhand Reviews·

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