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, Id 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, theres Colin Firth as Jamie and a language barrier between him and a girl named Aurelia. Theres Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and the cute aide Natalie. Theres 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 youd be giggling almost all the way through, like Bridget Joness Diary or some other romantic comedy. Though it does still fall into the category of romantic comedy, there was less amusement than Id been lead to believe. I really dont like when they do that.
Its 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 wasnt 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 wouldnt 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 weve 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 youll 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 its pretty simple. There are a lot of notable names in this movie. Aside from those Ive 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 youre not fond of this movie, youd 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 Jamies (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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