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!
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, … more
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 … more
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?)
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 … more
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. … more
"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, … more
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 Gods creations, … more
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 Ive … more
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