Love Actually

Love Actually (2003)

The Christmas Countdown (Day 15)


Love Actually is available to rent or buy now.

Since 2003, the tide has gradually turned on Love Actually. That is not to say many people don’t fight its corner, but others disregard it as being a bit naff or weird. When you re-watch it, it is fair to say there are some odd storylines from Alan Rickman cheating on Emma Thompson. That’s not very Christmassy! To the once-endearing and now slightly creepy ‘Colin, God of Sex’ with his bizarre ending of a potential threesome in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?!

It’s fair to say that for me, despite several now problematic themes, Love Actually remains a classic festive offering. Love Actually works due to the ensemble of Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Laura Linney, Kris Marshall and Rowan Atkinson. The list goes on and on, and watching this veritable who’s who of British talent bounce off of each other is just fantastic. Here the genuinely heart-warming stories aren’t necessarily the romantic ones. Instead, Daniel and his son Sam are managing to get through their first Christmas without Sam’s mum. At the same time, the long-time friendship between manager Joe and rock-n-roller Billy Mack lights up the screen.


Each story is linked, and if you’re thinking, “Wow, that sounds difficult, ” you’d be right. Director Richard Curtis described the editing process as a “catastrophe” and “the only nightmare scenario that I’ve been caught in”. After all, when the editing of your film resembles a three-dimensional game of chess, you are sure of a challenging ride. Nonetheless, Curtis deftly pulls it off, and, in turn, it seems like everything went off without a hitch. The resulting picture is undoubtedly a love letter to London, taking-in iconic locations from Canary Wharf and Hyde Park to the Tate Modern and Selfridges. But it also speaks directly to the Britpop era that was in decline by the early millennium, and in many ways, Love Actually feels like a love letter and goodbye to this era.

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