It’s the festive season, which always brings with it seemingly endless repeats of Love Actually on the box.
But while many of us have seen Richard Curtis’ romcom enough times to know all the words, including those on Andrew Lincoln’s soppy placards, few know of the highly emotional storyline about an older lesbian couple that ended up on the cutting room floor.
The relationship was between the headmistress (Anne Reid) at the school attended by Karen’s (Emma Thompson) son and her terminally ill partner Geraldine (Frances de la Tour).
The audience was supposed to see a moving scene in which the pair bicker over their differing tastes in fancy sausages and display wicked senses of humours, before cuddling up at night.
It is later revealed during a school assembly that Geraldine died shortly before Christmas [ . . . ]
Ignore the sexism if you can, and revel in a world of palatial flats where everyone adores the prime minister, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
By: Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
What is it about Love Actually? Richard Curtis’s ensemble Yuletide schmaltz-fest came out 16 years ago, and yet whether you adore it or despise it – for this has never been a film to provoke milquetoast emotions – you can’t deny that it remains a cultural touchstone.
The Christmas-centric plot facilitates the film’s annual exhumation by the sort of earmuff-sporting crowd who get excited about the switch to red Styrofoam cups in high street coffee chains, duly followed by its summary dissection by a bunch of misanthropic pseudo-nihilist killjoys whose concept of festive filmic fun is limited to watching the snowy bits in Andrei Rublev. No one comes out of this grudge match well. As I read on a desk once, the darkest parts of hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral conflict, maintain their neutrality (it was attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, but it seems it’s actually Dan Brown).
Surely, you are thinking, it’s just a Christmas movie? You are wrong. It isn’t just a Christmas movie. It is the Christmas movie that devours all other Christmas movies. Continue reading →
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. [ . . . ]
The top five Christmas movies to boost your festive spirit
We get it, Christmas can be stressful. Even the most organized of people can feel overwhelmed – and when your to-do list is longer than your arm, it can be difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. The solution? You need a night at home, glass of mulled wine in hand, and a Christmas movie on the TV…Despite the fact that British film Love Actually was never really supposed to be a Christmas movie (find out more about that here), it’s become tradition to watch it every time December rolls around (or November, depending on how festive you’re feeling). Featuring eight or nine subplots, a brilliant soundtrack and a host of respected actors, the pressure of a big budget means it could easily have been a disaster. Instead, it turned out to be 136 minutes of uplifting, heart-warming soppiness. We love it.
Is it just me? I thought Love Actually sucked. What do you think?