One of my favourite festive traditions is to snuggle up on the sofa with a full glass and an even fuller stomach to watch Love Actually. Richard Curtis’s 2003 romantic comedy, which tells nine different love stories and stars every famous actor you care to think of, is perfectly silly and totally delightful.
For millions of us, it is as much a part of Christmas as brandy butter or bread sauce. And the good news is, it’s now on Netflix – if you happen to miss the endless screenings on ITV2.
But while the film holds a place in the national imagination, it is not an uncontroversial one. In fact, it is difficult to think of another film that inspires quite this much hatred in some, while providing comfort and joy for so many others.
In recent years, Love Actually has been condemned for being, among other things, cynical, creepy, sexist and fat-shaming. Yes, really. [ . . . ]