Love Actually (6/10 Rating)
Released November 14, 2003
For rent/purchase on all major platforms.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
R: Sexuality, nudity, and language
I enjoy a good Romcom, but I am obsessed with Christmas movies. So, how did I miss Love Actually? I have put it off for years. It just always seemed like too much Romcom packaged together with a bow…and honestly, that is what it is. There are literally 8 love stories crammed into this film. You get all the magical moments with none of the work to get there, but maybe that is a good thing. We all know the recipes, so why not fast forward to the good parts? What this movie has going for it is the cast. I would fill my word count if I named all the British talent on display. And then there are all the cameos. It makes for a fun holiday movie to watch with your wife or girlfriend. Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, and Bill Nighy should be enough to pique your interest. If you are a fan of Writer/Director Richard Curtis’s other films, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones’s Diary, I would expect you will enjoy this one. It earns its R rating with some hilarious nude scenes featuring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) and language throughout. This sets it apart from most Romcoms and holiday movies. It also delves a little too far into fiction at times, which comes across as more silly than romantic. I found myself enjoying it more when I leaned into the comedy and ignored the romance. In fact, most of the less romantic plot lines were the most interesting. Bill Nighy as an aging rock star and his relationship with his manager is not just great comic relief throughout, but a lovely character arc. As expected, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson give outstanding performances and lift a few scenes up beyond the writing itself. There’s a funny plot featuring two stand-ins, as a film crew gets shots set up for the real actors and they casually get to know each other in various sexual positions. Overall, it is a cute movie, perfect for date night during the holidays. Worst case, you get to see a lot of interesting actors, including a young Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) speaking in his own accent. Best case, something tugs at your heartstrings and you shed some happy tears this holiday season.
Also released in November 2003: The Matrix Revolutions, Elf, Oldboy, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World, Tupac Resurrection, 21 Grams, Dr. Suess’ The Cat in the Hat, Gothika, Bad Santa, The Haunted Mansion, The Missing (follow @jlucia85 for these reviews and more)