Cast: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley
Running Time: 2h 15min
It’s a month before Christmas in London, England, and love really is all around us. Love Actually follows the lives of numerous singletons, couples and widowers as they take on the trials and tribulations of the best and worst feeling in the world – love. You can follow the life of Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) and his quest to dominate the charts to snag the Christmas Number One with his less-than-festive song, and all of the interrelated stories that surround the beautiful city of London, and the people that live there; including Daniel.
Daniel (Liam Neeson) is a recent widower trying to adjust to the devastating loss of his wife, and the newfound responsibility of being a single father to his step-son, Sam – who has a love interest himself. But will Sam be able to get the American girl of his dreams? As the story continues, you meet Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter, newlyweds who can’t wait to start their lives together but struggle to do so under the weight of Peter’s best friend, Mark, and his supposed hatred for Juliet. However, Juliet soon realizes that Mark doesn’t hate her. He loves her. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Jamie (Colin Firth). After the struggling writer finds his girlfriend in bed with another man, Jamie takes himself to France, to rid himself of women and focus solely on his novel. Of course, the course of love doth never run smooth, and Jamie soon finds himself falling head over heels for his Portuguese housekeeper.
Alas, the stories don’t end there. There’s Sarah and her secret two-year love for her co-worker who barely knows her name, Harry’s big decision of whether to stay with his wife (played by Emma Thompson) or his younger, more attractive assistant, and the Prime Minister’s (Hugh Grant) attraction to a new member of staff at 10 Downing Street (Martine McCutcheon). Will love continue to be all around them as the holidays draw to an end?
There are so many Christmas movies out there, but there are few that really stand out. There’s The Grinch (of course), Home Alone (naturally) and Elf (who taught us that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear) – but there is one Christmas movie that will always top them all. Of course, we’re talking about Love Actually.
Love Actually has often been called ‘the ultimate rom-com, ’ but we disagree with this because that title puts this movie in a category with other movies that just don’t cut the mustard for us. Love Actually deserves a category all to itself. One of the main reasons for this five-star review is because this movie is insanely clever. For most directors, trying to incorporate nearly ten different storylines into one movie would be an impossible task. However, Richard Curtis has nailed the precision and the detail in each story, and has interlinked them all perfectly – it’s one movie, not several mashed together.
Each storyline offers a different perspective on love. There’s unrequited love, there’s forbidden love, there’s lust, there’s loss, and there’s a whole load of emotions that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The movie is romantic, but at the same time, it is heartbreaking. It’s sad, but it’s also hilarious. It’s the perfect movie to watch on any occasion, in any situation, and in any mood.
The storylines are made even more poignant by Love Actually’s all-star cast. Even though this movie features some of the biggest names in Hollywood, the stories feel so insignificant, and like they could be happening to your next-door neighbor. Totally relatable.