Against the backdrop of aged has-been rock star Billy Mack's (Bill Nighy's) Christmas themed comeback cover of "Love Is All Around", which he knows is crap and makes no bones about it, much to his manager Joe's (Gregor Fisher's) chagrin as he promotes the record, several interrelated stories about romantic love and the obstacles to happiness through love for Londoners are presented in the five weeks preceding Christmas. Daniel's (Liam Neeson's) wife has just died, leaving him to take care of his adolescent stepson Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) by himself. Daniel is uncertain how to deal with Sam and his problems without his wife present, especially in light of a potential budding romance within their household. Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) have just gotten married. They believe that Peter's best friend and best man Mark (Andrew Lincoln) hates Juliet, but won't say so to his or her face. Others looking at the situation from the outside believe Mark is jealous of...Written by
When Daniel takes his place coffin bearer at his wife's funeral we see that his corner of the coffin is quite damaged, there are scratches and the joints are coming apart. It's clear that this is a much-used prop. See more »
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none...
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Jeannie, American Angel - January Jones See more »
There are two instances of switched music between the UK and US versions of the film. In the UK version, the montage introducing the office Christmas party is set to "Too Lost in You" by Sugababes, while the US version of the film replaces it with "The Trouble With Love Is", performed by Kelly Clarkson. Then, during the second half of the end credits after the Clarkson song plays (for the second time in the US version) the UK version concludes with a cover of "Jump (For My Love)", performed by Girls Aloud. This song does not appear at all in the US version, which concludes with the Sugababes song that the UK version used at the party. The 2009 US Blu-Ray actually contains the UK cut of the film, while the original US DVD had the US cut. See more »
What I appreciated most about Love Actually was that for the most part, it realistically looks at relationships happy and sad, successful and unsuccessful, with a future and without. It addresses different forms and levels of love, sometimes straightforward and carefree, sometimes complex and contradictory. There are schmaltzy happy moments and touching sad ones, moments of great strength and moments of foolish weakness. The movie is made up of many threads, and of course some threads are stronger than others.
The most interesting parts of Love Actually are the times when it addresses the tragic situations where love is self-sacrificing, contradictory, or fragile. One character's unrequited love is revealed as a noble sacrifice made for another's happiness (the method of finally achieving closure and moving on, however, could only work in the movies). Another character is shown to be caught between conflicting duties that will, we are led to believe, prevent her from ever being truly happy. And the strength that a third shows when love is shown to be fragile and her world collapses around her is tragically inspiring.
These noble, tragic threads are interwoven with lighthearted comedic ones to produce a fabric that holds together well. While some characters have to fight for their love, others have simple, happy, straightforward relationships, with love (or whatever) falling in their laps like a parcel from Santa Claus. And the purely comic moments, like Rowan Atkinson's appearances and Hugh Grant's Christmas-caroling bodyguard, are delightful in and of themselves.
There are of course plenty of nits to pick. Hugh Grant doesn't make a very believable Prime Minister, and even his very pointed speech to his American counterpart -- especially relevant in light of Bush's recent state visit to England -- don't redeem the odd casting. Others in this forum have commented on the number of fat jokes in the film, and while I agree, I feel I should point out that the entire point of the first such joke is that the character who has fallen for the "fat" girl clearly doesn't think of her as fat, and doesn't understand at first who the other is talking about. It's true that calling her fat is ridiculous; she's only large in comparison to Keira Knightley, who must be carrying some vital organs around in her handbag because there's certainly not enough room in her torso! But that one time would have been enough; the "fat" theme gets tiresome later on in the movie. I also agree with those who have said that much of the nudity is completely unnecessary to the plot, and that at least some of the comedic threads in the movie are formulaic and unoriginal.
In the end, I feel that Love Actually is for the most part a thoughtful and entertaining look at relationships, which does not shy away from taking the bad with the good.
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