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Love Actually (Widescreen Edition) (2003)

Art House & International, Comedy, and Drama movie

< read all 10 reviews

"I could inhabit here with you."

  • Oct 10, 2007
  • by
Pros: Cute, simple, fun, many notable appearances.

Cons: Won't appeal for everyone; advertised incorrectly

The Bottom Line: Got love?

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

When Love Actually first came onto the scene, it was advertised like a romantic comedy; full of funny goodness all the way through.

Mm, sort of.

The movie follows the lives of several people; if we go by specific story groups, I’d have to say at least 9. Some stories are shorter than others, and each displays a different sort of facet when it comes to love and the different turns it can take. For example, there’s Colin Firth as Jamie and a language barrier between him and a girl named Aurelia. There’s Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and the cute aide Natalie. There’s the married couple Karen and Harry (Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman) who may or may not have problems. The list goes on. These stories are all loosely connected; some closer than others. The one unifying trait? Love and Christmas.

The first time I saw this movie, I found myself quite disappointed. This was primarily because the advertisements touted this movie as funny. Now, while the movie does have a few good laugh out loud parts, the way it was advertised seemed to emphasize that this was something you’d be giggling almost all the way through, like Bridget Jones’s Diary or some other romantic comedy. Though it does still fall into the category of romantic comedy, there was less amusement than I’d been lead to believe. I really don’t like when they do that.

It’s been maybe a year or so since that first viewing. While I acknowledged that the movie was cute, I have to say it was much better the second time around. I already knew that this wasn’t going to be a one-story, linear movie, but instead something more like Crash (just a lot more bright and upbeat) where all lives have individual stories and intersect slightly at some point or another. I spotted another reviewer saying she wouldn’t have minded separate movies for many of the stories, and I have to say in many respects I agree. The story that revolved around Colin Firth was probably the most removed from the others and if worked with a little, could make for a cute movie. Frankly, I liked his story the best. The story with the Prime Minister and Natalie could be good as well, though it might be similar to some things we’ve seen before so a new spin would need to be put on it. A few others could make for good movies as well, but for now you’ll just have to accept them in this structured jumble.

It is fun, fairly clean (with a few exceptions), and though a few times it can feel a bit disjointed, for the most part it’s pretty simple. There are a lot of notable names in this movie. Aside from those I’ve mentioned earlier, there is also Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Rown Atkinson makes a brief, but amusing couple of appearances, and Billy Bob Thorton as the sleazy President of the U.S. There are a few others you might spot if you pay attention. Even if you’re not fond of this movie, you’d at least have to agree that the acting is fine and dandy.

A fun, casual movie you could watch around Christmas. If anything, you could just watch it for Jamie’s (Colin Firth) story and his great, semi-incorrect speech near the end, or for the story of Colin Frissell, who goes to Wisconsin in search of hot American women.

And it is true. If you pay attention, love actually is all around.



Viewing Format: DVD

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More Love Actually (2003) reviews
review by . July 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . August 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
All kinds of love
   This winning film starts out with the premise that, contrary to popular belief, the world is full of love, not hatred. By watching the lives of 8 different pairs of people in London, England, some of the many different types of love are explored. There's platonic, seen in the relationship of an aging rock star and his manager, and puppy love, as a young boy develops a crush on a classmate. There's unrequited, when Mark's best friend marries the woman he wants for himself, …
Quick Tip by . August 30, 2009
Love Actually is the ultimate romantic comedy, fun quirky, stars Hugh Grant and a slew of British actors. Makes me laugh every time..
review by . August 20, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
For lovers, for losers, for those with unrequited love--there is a relationship here for everyone (and a reminder of all those nasty office wenches who try to steal other people's husbands!). A delightful film, start to finish. (And how could it not be, what with Liam Neeson?)
review by . December 19, 2006
Gosh... where to start, other than to say that I love this movie!    Yeah, it's complicated by a whole raft of story lines, subplots and an incredibly large cast. But it works, with the type of charm that most movies can only hint at. True to it's premise, Love Actually highlights love in so many varied ways that it's difficult to fully appreciate it with only a single viewing. This is a DVD that deserves to be purchased, kept and watched year after year.    If …
review by . June 08, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great cast, good stories, honest laughs     Cons: The Pop-crap song that you can't seem to get out of your head     The Bottom Line: Bored nudity, length, and complex cast probably would keep a lot of viewers from enjoying this one. Personally, I think it's a keeper.     'Love Actually' takes a stellar cast and then opens little windows into the lives of ordinary people showing us the various pursuits, pitfalls, and ideals of Love. …
review by . May 23, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"Love Actually" is not a complex film, nor is it a terribly deep film. Nevertheless, it accomplishes its goal of expressing, in simple (but not simplistic) terms some of the different kinds of love people experience in life. It begins with the message "Love, actually, is all around" and it maintains that course throughout the film.Among the many different types of love the film covers are first love, new love, seasoned love, love on the rocks, frustrated love, unexpressed love, unrequited love, …
review by . May 03, 2004
Pros: Superbly acted, lighthearted theme.     Cons: Somewhat disjoined because of the plot; too many sub-plots going on.     The Bottom Line: Love Actually is good clean (well almost) adult fun, a date movie for adults. So round up a date, cuddle on the couch and drink in.     I am an incurable romantic, a voyeur of sorts in the window of love with a weakness for the quixotic interplay between humans; it is unique among God’s creations, …
review by . November 30, 2003
Pros: cute, hilarious, optimistic, Bill Nighy     Cons: Christmas-oriented (Bah Humbug!), a little sappy     The Bottom Line: All I want for Christmas is Hugh.     Most romantic comedies are boring because they are so simple. The typical rom-com expects viewers to care about the fate of one special couple that gets treated as if they are the only two people in the universe worth worrying about. The most horrifying example of this that I’ve …
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Nicole ()
Ranked #166
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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With no fewer than eight couples vying for our attention,Love Actuallyis like the Boston Marathon of romantic comedies, and everybody wins. Having mastered the genre as the writer ofFour Weddings and a Funeral,Notting Hill, andBridget Jones's Diary, it appears that first-time director Richard Curtis is just like his screenplays: He just wants to be loved, and he'll go to absurdly appealing lengths to win our affection. WithLove Actually, Curtis orchestrates a minor miracle of romantic choreography, guiding a brilliant cast of stars and newcomers as they careen toward love and holiday cheer in London, among them the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who's smitten with his caterer; a widower (Liam Neeson) whose young son nurses the ultimate schoolboy crush; a writer (Colin Firth) who falls for his Portuguese housekeeper; a devoted wife and mother (Emma Thompson) coping with her potentially unfaithful husband (Alan Rickman); and a lovelorn American (Laura Linney) who's desperately attracted to a colleague. There's more--too much more--as Curtis wraps his Christmas gift with enough happy endings to sweeten a dozen other movies. That he pulls it off so entertainingly is undeniably impressive; that he does it so shamelessly suggests that his writing fares better with other, less ingratiating directors.--Jeff Shannon
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DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
Runtime: 135 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios

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