This movie more than succeeds in doing what so many movies try to do: weave together the stories of a number of unlikely characters who run into each other in various ways throughout the film. The stories here are all over the maps - from young to old, to new love to affairs, to family relationships and the death of lovers.. The characters, each well developed and played by a slew of well known established actors, as well as new faces, were distinct and carefully crafted - something that other movies of this type tend to lack. As a comparison - Valentine's Day (2010) should have been another Love Actually - with a great cast and a witty intertwining of relationships, but it fell flat (except, in my opinion, for the Bradley Cooper/Julia Roberts dynamic and character paths, but that's for another review!).
The timing of the film is interesting - it starts 5 weeks before Christmas and counts down week by week, so the viewer is quite aware of how much time is passing between events - something that can be lost in other films. And I believe the timing to be appropriate - not much seemed to move too fast or too slow.
Love Actually, while not tied up with a bow at the end, is a feel good film, that is great for the winter holidays (as this is when the movie is set), but the love in the film is of course, good all year long!
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