Monday, 7 December 2009


9. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually is another one of the Christmas films that you could really watch anytime of the year and you'd still enjoy it. With a huge cast of some of Britain's most accomplished stars it's a bit a rollercoaster in terms of what it offers and what you come to expect from Richard Curtis and the Best of British.

Yes, there are some bits that are annoying artificial and yes, some characters too for that matter (you know who you are!) But overall Love Actually is up there with It's a Wonderful Life for feel-good films. It can melt even the coldest heart like a blob of cream on a warm minced pie.

Richard Curtis is probably one of the best writer/directors around for knowing how to make an audience feel a certain way. And Love Actually is a prime example of this as his weaves his sentimental magic through several inter-linking storylines that revolve around different types of love and romance.

Not all are as fluffy as the main storyline involving Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and his tea lady (Martine McCutcheon). Undoubtedly the best storyline of the film involves the superb Emma Thompson as the quintessential middle-class mother and wife whose allusions of perfect family life come crashing down around her as she realises that her husband (Alan Rickman) is involved with another woman.

Each storyline clearly works to evoke a different emotion. Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln's plays out for drama; Central to Martin Freeman and Joanna Page's story is a sort of naughty British postcard type of comedy; And Liam Neeson's recently widowed character evokes a strong sense of Pathos as we see him help his struggling step-son (Thomas Sangster)win over his first love.

Central to all these chapters is, of course, love. And that's sadly probably why it is one of my favourite Christmas films. Because although I'm aware I'm being irritatingly insipid in saying this, Love is important. And Christmas is one of those times where we actually get to admit that. It's when we witness it most too. So you might as well revel in it, go on take a look. Because as a wise old toff once said:

'Love actually is all around.'

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