LoveActually- a movie I used to hate

Not apologizing for any of what I’m about to say.

I used to hear people go on and on about how much they loved the movie LoveActually. It made me vomit. I watched it with my ex-husband and while he seemed to really like it- so much that he bought a copy on DVD- I thought it was just garbage. The only part I would laugh at was Colin Firth speaking- even English!

The other night I wanted to watch a sappy Christmas movie and I went ahead and tried LoveActually, again. I wanted to see what nearly a year of being single had done to me as a viewer of romantic comedies. I’m here to say that it did a lot.

The first time I watched the movie, I couldn’t see the love stories because all I saw was a married man falling for his young, manipulative secretary. I tell you. That’s ALL I saw and my life hadn’t been blown apart by somewhat similar circumstances.

Watching it again as a single woman, I could enjoy the screenplay and it reminded me of how much I love Richard Curtis as a screenwriter. The way he writes reminds me of David Mamet and Joss Whedon (not all Whedon, grant you) and their speed and the way they make a character bumble around. There’s something about how these three write that will always capture my attention. Yes, even Notting Hill. I had to watch it. And, yes, I am a fan of Hugh Grant. Sue me.

But back to the movie I used to hate with a passion.

First off, the movie I hated also contained one of my favorite actresses, Emma Thompson. She’s another one I’ll watch in anything. I’d even watch a documentary about something non-costumey if she narrated it. Her presence on screen kills me every time. So, couple that with the following words and you get perfection within imperfection.

Karen: Tell me, if you were in my position, what would you do?

Harry: What position is that?

Karen: Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace, and come Christmas gave it to somebody else…

Harry: Oh, Karen…

Karen: Would you wait around to find out…

Parent: Good night!

Karen: Night, night. Happy Christmas!

[back to Harry]

Karen: Would you wait around to find out if it’s just a necklace, or if it’s sex and a necklace, or if, worst of all, it’s a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?

Harry: Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool!

Karen: [voice breaking] Yes, but you’ve also made a fool out of me, and you’ve made the life I lead foolish, too!

Yeah, Thompson makes that scene happen. She’s so raw and so composed all in one. It’s quite amazing from an acting standpoint. But, again, the cheating husband angle I can’t get over.

But moving forward, onward, into rom-com enjoyment land…or maybe it’s just because it’s this time of year when everyone seems to try harder to be at their best.

and maybe that’s all it is… but I’m not a fan of Keira. Nails on a chalkboard! This story is a little cringe worthy for me. I know that staying faithful doesn’t sell movie tickets so I get why they’d open the can of worms with this guy’s honesty. The fact that he says, Enough! as he’s walking away almost makes me like him more until Keira comes out again for that kiss. Boundaries, people.

The love story that could’ve happened but can’t because of her baggage. Don’t we know that story. It’s still sweet that Karl still wants to say goodnight to her at work with all that emotional tension.

Connection despite language barriers. This was the most far fetched of all of them- that he would leave his family and fly all the way back to marry this girl. But, still, hello Hollywood. And how romantic! Maybe sometimes we feel this foolhardy but who actually does this? Despite that, this moment is by far one of my favorites.

Speaking of favorites. The Liam Neeson character finding out his step-son has fallen in love and it’s not the death of his mom that has him so consumed is a delight. The dad goes to huge lengths to show his son the importance of love.

As this is not a movie review, I’m just going to cut it short and admit to how hard I cried over this movie. I did need a good cry and this was there so my logical mind tells me I used it as a means to an end. But, basically, I cried and it was awesome!

I guess it was just nice to enjoy this movie all by myself. I do feel the urge to watch Four Weddings and a Funeral- an all time favorite.

Happy Holidays! And even if you don’t celebrate anything this time of year- enjoy your family and friends!

9 thoughts on “LoveActually- a movie I used to hate

  1. Bird and Bicycle says:

    Hahaha. I completely agree with your every sentiment. I hated it, and my husband loves it. I think it’s a guys love story because always, the guys wins, in every story. Except maybe Karl, maybe.

    Keira as an actress I dislike but mostly it’s her voice. I feel like she can’t convey powerful emotions, maybe she is kinda campy and would do better in things like the pirate movies she made.

    Rick and Emma is the most powerful story ever, and deeply affects me. It feels so plausible, and my husband and I disagree on how the movie ends and what it means.

    Anyway. The way they depict American women doesn’t make me super happy either.

    But I like Hugh grant, so awkward and sincere in his every roll.

    Happy holidays to you too, and may we both find amazing movies to laugh and cry and love with!

    • Leila says:

      I had never thought of it as a guy’s movie. Interesting take. Probably accurate. The way they depict American women didn’t bother me for some reason. That part always seemed like his wet dream. ha!

  2. brendaintheboro says:

    Hi Leila, I can’t comment on the films as I don’t think I’ve seen any of them. However, I can comment on real life love. We’ve just celebrated 43years of marriage but the best thing is, we are more in love now than in the beginning despite all that life through at you. It is possible and I do hope you find happiness. I believe in Christ , so I will wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

  3. Brooke says:

    I’ve never seen this movie. (I’m really picky about rom-coms in general – most are too sappy girly for me.) Still not sure I want to watch it as everyone who has recommended it tends to like different kind of movies than I do. Interesting that guys seem to like this one.

    Sometimes you just need a good cry and to feel the feels. =)

    A great little movie that I found a while back on Netflix streaming is “Take Me Home” from 2011. It is a wonderful script and superb acting (main characters are husband and wife in real life) and it’s just everyday life stuff with some really hilarious moments sprinkled in it. (I even made my husband watch it with me the second time and he enjoyed it too.) Not really a Christmas movie, but definitely worth adding to your list.

  4. Becky says:

    I’ve never been one for chick flicks much overall, with the exception of stuff like The Princess Bride and pretty much anything Jane Austen-related. But I do like Love Actually quite a bit. I think the big selling point for me is that it’s NOT just romantic love portrayed–I also appreciate that friendship is shown as part of it, and my favorite storyline in there is the Liam Neeson one, because of the relationship with his stepson. Since so much of my adult life was spent single, and the more important relationships in my life during that time were with my friends and family, I think that take on it was a brilliant move on the writers’ part.

  5. Colombiana74 says:

    I love the way you write, Manish. Y me encanta el contenido de lo que escribiste. Estoy de acuerdo con vos. Hay peliculas que me ponen los pelos de punta con el tema de infidelidad. Pero otras que ahora las puedo ver con ojos nuevos. Tu blog es impresionante. Siempre lo ha sido. Asi como lo sos vos. Is there anything you can’t do??!!! Te amo,Manish.

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