Starring Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Rory MacGregor, Colin Firth, Sienna Guillory
Directed by Richard Curtis
Starring a whole bunch of British “Hey It’s Him/Her’s”
Happy Valentine’s, everyone. I cannot say that this is my favorite holiday even when I do have someone to share it with, but I will not deny anyone the enjoyment of romance. I hope you are all happy and loved. And please do not hate me those who love this movie, but as one of the best in the RomCom genre, I have to look at it honestly.
A whole gaggle of Brits run around London and parts just outside and learn that love actually was right in front of them the entire time.
What I liked
I went into this expecting a formulaic romantic comedy and... it was and it was not. The easiest way to describe this movie is I saw every romantic comedy. There are a dozen meet cutes, break ups, hearts stomped on, blundering, confusion and just out and out what the hell is going on with these two type moments. And, for the most part, they are all handled realistically. I will say this without spoiler: Love does win out in nearly every story. Otherwise it would suck. It might not win out how you think it will, though, and can be pretty painful.
As I said before, there is something for every warm-hearted person out there. The range of topics cover marriage, first dating, meeting, jealousy, love from afar, yadda yadda. I am not so much surprised at how much is in this movie, but how much is in this movie that you can clearly follow. There are nine love stories in this movie with sometimes three characters per story AND they interconnect at times. The fact that most audiences walk out of this sumbitch with their brains in their ears is a feat of screenwriting all in its own. Also, however creepy it might be to stalk your best friend’s wife, I will still root for the guy that acknowledges his hope and gives it up with flair. My wasted heart goes out to you, sir.
Be a pretty bad “romcom” without the “com,” huh? While some of the jokes fall flat, the overall tone of the film is a happy whimsy that laughs at itself more than at the characters. At times, the characters acknowledge the situation they are in and just go ahead with the weirdo scenario because... well... love. I liked that.
What I didn’t like
(don’t hate me)
The problem with doing the ultimate genre movie is reliving all the random cliches that make the genre what it is. The misunderstood gift. The meet cute where things do not go right. The running through the damn airport once again to tell him/her/it you love him/her/it. While several times this movie does play with the tropes and twist them, it plays just as many straight and boring.
I mentioned above that some of the jokes fell flat and most of that was during the more “wacky” moments. The British love their characters flipping right the heck out and/or being wildly over confident and sometimes that is not for the best.
Leaps in Logic
There are a few of the story lines that... Well, they just do not make a bit of sense. They are over the top and “zany” in a cute way that conflict with the more emotional and heartfelt pieces. One segment in particular left me wondering if I was going to find out if the guy died and all this was his heaven. Turns out no, he’s just having the best luck ever. I understand the segments were there to give it a little levity, but the juxtaposition is jarring at best and plain confusing at worst.
Who would like this
Any die hard romantic comedy nut will enjoy this movie. Anybody with two hours to kill and wants something on in the background will like this, unless for some reason British accents offend you. In general, if you are in need of a good date movie, ladies will like it and even the most macho dude will find something to enjoy. Which leads us to the next topic:
Why was it banned?
While Hugh Grant may be banned from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (that’s all that would come up on google), Love Actually has not caused waves despite containing multiple instances of foul language, sexual situations, and some straight up boob shots. Yeah, that’s why a lot of guys can sit through this movie.