Reviewed bymilareppaVote: 9/10
I hate romantic comedies. I detest them. You can list the actors I avoid watching: Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts. Romantic comedies make me cringe and I avoid them like the plague so you can imagine the foul mood I was in when I was forced to watch this film. And the introductory voice-over by Hugh Grant as we watch an airport full of people hugging made me want to commit an act of violence - either against the people who forced me to watch this film or against myself just to end the torture. Then the most unbelievably shocking thing happened. Bill Nighy and Gregor Fischer came on screen, mocking one of the most hated love songs in Britain, "Love is all Around" and I found myself getting sucked into the film. By the time I reached the end of the film I found myself facing the impossible, there was one romantic comedy out there that genuinely is a comedy and actually likeable. No-one was more shocked than I. Many different kinds of love are covered (although not all kinds), there's 8 storylines and the biggest cast list I've seen in a long time. Somehow, it works. You'd think it wouldn't, I know I certainly didn't. If you're looking for a full-length story, this is not the film for you. It snap-shots the important events leading to the resolution of the couples involved, nothing more. If you want a classic romantic film, this might not be the film for you. This is funnier than most straight comedies I've seen in recent times, however (I'm just as harsh a critic of comedy films as I am of romantic films). It's not trying to be the meaning of life, it's not trying to look at the big picture. In fact, it's only trying to do one thing, and that's say positive feelings crop up in the most unexpected places or are more prevalent than people think. One of the storylines, one that is cited constantly in reviews as one of the failed storylines with a sad ending is actually bittersweet. It doesn't end with failure but the failure of one type of love in favour of a different kind. This film isn't perfect, I'll never find the perfect romantic-comedy because I hate the genre so much, for example, one of the storylines did annoy me intensely and yet ironically still made me laugh in places. However, the flaws in the film are vastly outweighed by positives. It's superficially complicated but is really a very simple film. It makes a statement: "love actually is all around" then shows why it makes that statement and doesn't attempt to do or be anything else. And like the fact it covers different kinds of love, it covers different attitudes and portrayals of it - so a couple are realistic, a couple are classic fantasy, a couple are pure comedy and a couple are pure rom-com tradition. I have seen no reviewer give this film a middle-of-the-road review, and I've read many reviews. I think, in the end, Love Actually is up to the individual. It's like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it. Speaking as a cynical, misanthropic, Marmite-hating, Romantic-Comedy hating member of the human race, I actually liked Love Actually.
Reviewed byBrianWatchesMoviesVote: 8/10
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.
Reviewed byClaire Rosemary JaneVote: 5/10
This was a most intriguing film. There are of course other reviews of it here, but the one common theme that seems to exist in all reviews is the simple fact that you can never please all the people all of the time. For myself I loved the film and the way that all the stories were intertwined. You could spend ages just trying to work out where the various connections between the story lines actually were. But there were two very special moments for me in this film. One was where Mark (Andrew Lincoln) finally told Juliet(Keira Knightley ) how he REALLY felt about her, through the medium of the messages on the cards, (surely many of us have experienced that sort of unrequited love), the other was the brilliant brief speech given by the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) to the press conference at which the American President was present. (Both of these appear as quotes elsewhere on this site.) I felt that it was a very brave move on the part of the writer (Richard Curtis) to allow the Prime Minister in the film to state what so many ordinary British people are feeling about America and its politics right now. I also feel that we, the British, are finally beginning to move away from under the Hollywood shadow, and are starting once again to produce some really excellent films of our own. And for me, this film just underlines this fact. May this trend continue. Claire Rosemary Jane.
The characters are falling in love, falling out of love, some are with right people, some are with the wrong people, some are looking to have an affair, some are in the period of mourning; a capsule summary of reality. Love begins and love ends. They flirt a lot. They are all flirting with love. At all ages and social levels, love is the theme. Romantic love and brotherly love is the hotchpotch through out the movie. Most of the movie is filmed in London, during Christmas and the characters all ended up at Heathrow airport a very uplifting note.