Love Actually, 20 years later: for or against?

Love Actually, 20 years later: for or against?

Hated by some (including her own director Richard Curtis) and adored by others, has the queen of Christmas romcoms aged horribly poorly? Or does it remain a timeless classic? We count the points.

Billy Mack celebrates the anniversary of his Christmas hit! Just 20 years ago, Love Actually was released in French cinemas, without really causing havoc (a little over 900,000 admissions). But over time, the film Richard Curtis has established itself as a huge holiday classic. Screenwriter of Four weddings and a funeral or Notting Hill, Curtis goes behind the camera for the first time with this romantic-sentimental puzzle anchored in its time, which aims above all at the human and what is most beautiful in each of us, even if it means falling into some pitfalls of sentimentality, but also some societal awkwardness! To the point that as the years passed, the popularity of the innocent blue flower comedy began to annoy. Until its director! Richard Curtis in person never misses an opportunity to burn his own marshmallow in public. So for or against Love Actually ?


First, the decor. That Hollywood superstar Anna Scott strolls solo (without a bodyguard) at Notting Hill, passes again. But for the British Prime Minister to go door to door in a small London neighborhood on Christmas Eve… Love Actually gives the impression that London, Europe’s first megalopolis, is a small English village where everyone knows each other, attends the same parties, listens to the same songs and where the children apparently all go to the same elementary school, the epicenter of social life in the British capital!
Yes, but, This is precisely what makes this canvas sewn by Curtis so special. At first glance, each of the 9 storylines is separate, but in reality they are all interconnected. And it’s Mia, the secretary, who is at the center of everything!


The film’s “gross-phobic” humor seemed very innocent 20 years ago. Today, the evolution of societal mores makes the English Prime Minister look like a sinister cad. Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) is often mocked for her weight, from start to finish. They say she is “plump”, that she has “enormous thighs” and even David, taking her in his arms during the final airport sequence, tells her that she weighs a tonne. “Fat shaming” in good form, which horrifies Curtis today, taken up by his own daughter, who made him realize that “These jokes are no longer funny today. Afterwards, I don’t have the feeling that I was vicious at the time. I just think that I was in my bubble and not as intelligent as I would have been should have been.”
Yes, butat no time is Martine a victim in Love Actually. She sparkles, assumes her shapes and looks at David when he teases her. And then Hugh Grant has this inherent ability to make any clumsy seducer charming. He even made it his absolute trademark. So their couple becomes absolutely adorable.


The most complicated romance of the film, where Jamie falls in love with his cleaning lady… when she undresses and reveals a sexy tattoo on the small of her back! And then when he goes to Marseille to conquer it, he comes across a particularly folkloric Portuguese family, where the sister thinks that her father is going to sell Aurelia as a slave to a white man?! Seriously ? No, that’s not what Richard Curtis wrote in a more subtle way and, moreover, the director admits to having failed with diversity in his film: “I feel a little stupid. Thank God, society evolves, so inevitably my film can, at times, become dated. The lack of diversity makes me uncomfortable and I feel a little stupid.”
Yes, but, considering how Jamie is cuckolded by his own brother in a horrible way, he deserved a happy ending! And then Aurelia, almost mute for 2 hours (because she doesn’t speak English), finds her voice again in the last moments, to put her new boyfriend in his place and we love that.


Super-romantic or super-creepy? This declaration of love to his best friend’s wife, while he is in the next room, has something truly creepy about it. The guy admits that he almost never spoke with Juliet, but he shows up at her door to vent his feelings to her. “He comes to his best friend’s house to send a message to his wife. And what a message: ‘I love you’. Yes, it’s weird. I remember being surprised when they told me it was a scene of harassment. In hindsight, it’s true. We didn’t perceive it as a scene of harassment at the time, but it’s interesting to see how we see things differently nowadays. And that’s so much better“, self-tackles again Richard Curtis.
Yes, but“To me you are Perfect” will go down as one of the most romantic scenes in cinema history, even if, like Rhett Buttler’s forced kisses in Gone with the wind, she ages badly. And then the billboard action inspired thousands of declarations around the world and for that alone…


They’re not really connected to anyone and possibly they don’t live in London at all. The most forgettable love story Love Actually. Moreover, we still have not understood the circumstances of their meeting. What exactly is their job? Doubles on a porn film? Erotic film stuntmen? Clearly, they are doing a job that does not exist and it has horrified us for 20 years.
Yes, butsee Martin Freeman massage the breasts of Joanna Page talking to him about traffic conditions is priceless.


What happened to Sam’s father? We know nothing about it and it is absolutely never mentioned in the film. However, we must accept that Claudia Schiffer will become his new mother, just a month after he buried his…
Yes, butthe relationship between the little boy and his stepfather is an absolute success. Richard Curtis talks about blended families without making a big deal about it, casually evoking the bonds of love, stronger than the bonds of blood. Vianney in the text! The look of Liam Neeson when her son kisses Joanna at the airport still brings tears to our eyes.


Hands down the worst subplot in Love Actually, totally disconnected from the rest. We still don’t understand what Curtis meant through the character of Chris Marshall, which makes American women look like brainless bimbos. Even obsessed idiots have a chance?
Yes, butwe are amazed at each viewing to see how many young stars have agreed to play this, to January Jones has Elisha Cuthbert Passing by Shannon Elizabeth And Denise Richards.


It’s true that we can’t stand hearing Mariah Carey every time we put out the tree and the garlands.
Yes, but, Olivia Olson’s version, with little Sam on drums remains an eminently exhilarating moment that makes you want to get up from the sofa. And then hear Richard Curtis himself butcher the hit of Wet Wet Wet which he had taken to the top of the charts ten years earlier, with Four Weddingsis another little Christmas treat… Bill Nighy has never been so popular.


In the prologue, Hugh Grant – the Prime Minister – explains to us that he loves going to arrivals at Heathrow to watch all the people get together. Of course, absolutely no one does that and in real life, love is not really everywhere and certainly not at Terminal 2 at Roissy after a 6 hour flight and 2 hours in line to go through customs and collect your suitcase which lost a wheel…
Yes, but, Love Actually It’s the kind of film that shows us the good side of real life. The glass half full. A dose of pure optimism, which does a lot of good when looking at society in the face, at the time of the end-of-year review. This is the film that does not see England as the country of Brexit or Boris Johnson, but that of “Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter… Beckham’s right foot. His left foot.” Moreover, when South President Yoon Suk Yeol came to visit King Charles III at Buckingham Palace last November, he did not quote Winston Churchill but Hugh Grant and his memorable speech Love Actually. Proof, no offense Richard Curtisthat his film indeed has a special place in the hearts of the world.

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