Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003) Review

We had a bad Christmas film, an American Christmas film so I think it's time to look at a British Christmas film. There were many I could pick but I decided to go with this one. This is going to be a rather obscure review as the plot synopsis is going to be a bit weird. Anyone who's seen this film would know why and, for those who haven't, this is why. The film is telling multiple stories that are connected through the relationships of the characters so...errr...let's go?...Ok...

So these stories are simultaneous and are as brief as I can get them:
1) The new Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) has officially started his work in 10 Downing Street and meets the people who will work for him. Among them is Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) who the Prime Minister is quickly smitten for her.
2) Harry (Alan Rickman) is an office manager who manages to catch the attention of his employee, Mia (Heike Makatsch), who begins to fall for him. Harry's Wife, Karen (Emma Thompson), begins to grow suspicious and fears the worst for their relationship.
3) Karen's friend, Daniel (Liam Neeson) has just lost his wife and his step son, Sam (Thomas Sangster), is feeling depressed. Daniel learns that Sam is in love with one of his class mates (Olivia Olsen) and the two band together to try and win her over.
4) Ageing pop star, Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) is trying to get his song 'Christmas is all around' to be Christmas Number 1 despite not giving to craps about the song (he did it for the money).
5) After his girlfriend cheats on him, Jaime (Colin Firth) leaves England to live in France so he can continue his writing. He is introduced to his Portuguese housekeeper, AurĂ©lia (LĂșcia Moniz), and, despite not speaking the same languages, the relationship between the two grows stronger.
And many, many more...

Well that was a mouthful. Anyway, one thing you may have noticed is the amazing cast. All the stories have at least one famous actor and they are all great. It's also good to see actors not being type cast such as Alan Rickman who is surprisingly a torching character and this film has one of my favourite Liam Neeson roles. This film makes me appreciate the tremendous British cast as well as the genius of Richard Curtis. He managed to create some great characters as well as balance the multiple stories at the same time. Truly a great feat.

It is a Christmas film so it's a good film to watch on the build up to Christmas as this film takes place over the five weeks before Christmas. I'm not spoiling anything by saying that Rowan Atkinson's role as Rufus was originally supposed to be a Christmas angel and I wish they went with that idea as it really pushed the Christmas message. Well, despite that idea cut out, it's still a heart-warming film that is a great family film. Seeing all the different families and the way they celebrate Christmas is a great thing.

Love Actually may not be an original idea since I'm sure the idea of having multiple stories isn't entirely new but it's mastered here. The amazing cast only furthers improve the film and leads to a great climax, especially in Daniel's story. Well, that's Love Actually and there is one more Christmas film left for this year and that will be on Christmas Eve. What film is on Friday then? Look at the date, I'm pretty sure it's obvious.

Does the 'multiple story' idea well and is one of the most heart-warming films I've ever seen. One hell of a cast, too.

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