Toronto Mike

Thoughts After Watching Love Actually for the First Time

Thoughts After Watching Love Actually for the First Time

Every year as Christmas approaches, I hear about people watching Love Actually.  It seems to have become an annual holiday classic, like A Christmas Story and It's A Wonderful Life.  Last night, I watched Love Actually for the very first time.


It was cute and funny and had a wonderful cast.  I could watch Bill Nighy in anything and enjoy it.  When asked via Twitter what I thought, I surmised it in one word.

@_SarahFoster it's charming!— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) December 21, 2013

Then, last night, while lying in bed with my wife who had just watched Love Actually for the second time, I started asking questions.  These questions and thoughts, naturally, contain spoilers.

  • Didn't Colin Firth's character skip a rather important step? Sure, the Portuguese woman looks good in her underwear, but is that enough to propose marriage? Shouldn't you have at least one conversation before taking that plunge?
  • That guy obsessed with his buddy's new wife, Keira Knightley. That's super creepy, right? Yes, Keira Knightley is very attractive, but it's clear he'll only love her forever because she's hot. They've never had a conversation, after all, and if he wasn't attractive, I'm sure she'd have a restraining order out on the guy.
  • Yes, Prime Minister Hugh Grant is single, but it's still inappropriate for him to start making out with a member of the staff.  It's quite the position of power he holds over her.  And I get the joke that everyone calls her chubby (she's not) but it wasn't funny. It was actually a little disturbing.
  • Speaking of not being funny, the British guy who went to Milwaukee to get laid immediately bedded four incredibly hot chicks.  I realize this is the fun joke, but it fit right in with the ridiculous theme of this movie.  It's not Love Actually, it's Lust Actually.
  • I loved the interaction between Liam Neeson and his stepson, as well as when his stepson pursued his crush, but hooking Liam up with the most beautiful woman on the planet (Claudia Schiffer) just reinforced the obvious confusion between love and lust with the only exception being the couple who met filming the porno. That surprisingly seemed sweet and sincere.
  • And finally, there's the plotline that might have been the most serious and the most confusing to me. Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson are faced with a serious violation of trust when he gifts a necklace to the saucy minx who works for him.  I still have no idea how this ended when she meets him at the airport with their two kids.  Did they work it out? Did they end the marriage? Are they staying together for the kids?  If you know, let me know in the comments.

In conclusion, Love Actually was indeed a cute, funny film with a great cast.  It's not as good as Four Weddings and a Funeral, but cut from the same cloth.

It's not about love, however, and I don't see it as a Christmas classic I'd want to watch every year at this time.  In fact, I feel I've had my full.

I'll stick with A Christmas Story.

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