It’s December, and time for me to re-watch one of my favorite Christmas movies, Love Actually. It is a funny, heart-warming romantic comedy that follows the course of eight different love stories, and is packed with a fantastic cast. How could one not like a movie that has Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, and Colin Firth all in the same movie?
One of the things I particularly like about this movie is that each of the story lines focuses on a different sort of love: brotherly love, platonic love, love from afar, love at first sight, etc.
I love this movie. It’s charming and funny and has great dialog, acting, and unexpected twists. That being said, here I come with both barrels blazing:
Can this movie teach us anything about love? After looking at each of the eight storylines, I think there is only one that amounts to anything more than unrealistic, improbable, and destined for failure in the long run.
Seven of the eight storylines rely on impulsive love based on very little of substance. Colin Firth “falls in love” with a woman even though they don’t speak a common language. Hugh Grant has a fling with his secretary, a sweet girl but one who is laughingly unsuited for his life (I say this because their primary chemistry seems to be at all the gaffes she makes in his staid and proper world… one which he has no intention of altering or leaving on her behalf.) Most of the other stories are equally improbable and impulsive.
The one storyline I found quite moving was Emma Thompson’s middle-age love with her husband as it withstands the trauma of an affair. It doesn’t have a happily-ever-after bow tied on at the end. You know these two are about to walk down a bumpy road together as they try to repair the damage…..but it is a beautiful look at a rarely-told aspect of love.
Warning: Love Actually is not a family-safe movie, but if you are over 18, don’t mind some salty language and a few racy scenes, the movie is still a great way to spend a few hours. Just don’t look to it for romantic advice!