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Is ‘Love Actually’ All That?

Written for year 10 c.w. I have very little access to my work at the moment, so thought it would be fun to upload this. I love the film and Hugh Grant; I like to think I sold it to you too.

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Is ‘Love Actually’ All That?

Love Actually is a daringly evocative film, bringing ten separate main characters together, via of course love. An irresistible plot, presenting us with multiple loose ends, letting us watch each life unravel in its own mysteries in the weeks running up to Christmas. With acting standards hitting peaks, the film puts across a new hurdle for all future love films. The term, “It’s not quite love actually” shall hinder them all.

The film has many fuzzy-tummy moments, starting with Hugh Grant’s heart melting commentary over the first two minutes, where we are given real footage of loved ones reacquainting at airport terminals, with his words reminding us of love in the darkest of places, the tragic 9/11 attacks. The atmosphere is delicately heavy, and sets off the entire film on a sweet-sombre note; a perfect description of the film itself.

The many story lines means there’s something that appeals to everyone. My favourite is the couple in France, where he is English, (Colin Firth) and she is Portuguese, (Lúcia Moniz), and although they have an entire ocean of language between them, we’re able to see their love blossom. There are also relationships you’re rooting to fail, like the selfish secretary endeavouring to bag the boss (Alan Rickman). We then meet his glorious wife (Emma Thompson) and later his kids, leaving us sitting terrified about how their lives will conclude.

Hugh Grant plays the nation’s newly elected prime minister, and as always, with his floppy hair and soppy words, we fall in love with him instantly, but it’s he who is in trouble with love. Within the first five minutes in number 10 he’s already feeling hot under the collar for his catering manager Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) from the ‘dodgy end’ of London. It’s like our own reversed Notting Hill, once again leaving us gripped with suspense.

Talking about the film as a whole, watching the characters live out their problems, and seeing them intertwine with each other, gives us a wonderful sense of momentum. We see them help one another find their way to love. You have to appreciate the care taken to leave no stone unturned, or in this case, no relationship unexplained. I knew I loved this film when it presented me the maturity it has towards all shades of love. The love of a sister, for her mentally ill brother; the hidden love of a man towards his best friend’s wife; the love of a widower for his late wife, or perhaps an even greater love: the love he has for his step son, battling the loss of his mother and his first true sweet heart of his own. The film takes care of this relationship beautifully, with wonderfully wide camera angles of them discussing on a sea side bench, leaving them as the only two people in the world, while we, as the audience, know that many others are battling this war too.

The film carries us through every emotion of love with perfectly chosen music just as poignant as the dialogue; through the frustration, the lies, the secrets, the honesty, the confrontation, and if not the worst; the realisation, of love. For me this film has ticked every box, dotted every ‘i’, and signed every love letter with three messy kisses. The visual feasts and insights this film brings us, as every family and friend, loved and lovers reach their awaited Christmas will warm every heart this season.

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