Day 7 - Love Actually

If you couldn’t tell from the title of this film, the main theme is murder.

What? Oh. The main theme is love, that’s right. And what better time of year to focus on the love in your life than Christmas?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of this movie, for those of you who have never seen it, it’s a multi-storyline movie in the vein of New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, except that it came out before any of those movies and is way better. Maybe it’s because most of the characters are British and everything sounds better with a British accent.

Like I said, what we’re focusing on here is love, the setting is the holidays, and there are quite a few different storylines going on that all happily (or maybe less happily) intersect in the end. What I enjoy about this movie (besides everything) is the different kinds of love we get to see – from young love to unrequited love, from love between brother and sister to love that goes beyond words. And, unlike other movies, love doesn’t always win out in the end.

There are a crapload of recognizable people—both Brit and American—in this movie. Some were famous before the movie, some are more famous now. Some that are more famous now are also in 2 of my favorite storylines in the movie.

First, Andrew Lincoln. If you watch AMC, you know who Andrew Lincoln is:

Except in this movie, he looks a bit different. Less thin (but not in a bad way), less ragged, less surrounded by zombies:

However, he’s still hounded by something. No, not Carl wandering off at every turn, and no, not his useless, cheating wife. Lincoln, as Mark, gets the honor of filling the role of unrequited love. Throughout the movie, we’re led to believe that Mark is secretly in love with his best friend, Peter, who recently married Juliet, played by Keira Knightley. Spolier Alert: He’s actually in love with Juliet. Juliet notes that Mark never talks to her, never made any indication that he even likes her at all. As Mark puts it, it’s about self-preservation.

But, the story doesn’t end there. Because it’s Christmas, and on Christmas you tell the truth:

Because it’s Christmas, Mark tells the truth, that he will forever love Juliet, but knows nothing will ever come to pass. Even though this is one of the sadder love stories in the movie, the moment of pure honesty is at the heart of Christmas, and makes it one of my favorite storylines in the movie.

One of my other favorites – I mean, let’s face it, most of them are my favorites. It might be easier to tell you which storylines aren’t my favorites (slutty secretary and Coming to America 2: Sexytime Boogaloo), is the story of John and Just Judy. John is portrayed by Martin Freeman—while famous in England before Love Actually (he played Tim in the UK version of The Office), he is more known now in the US after playing the leading role in Hitchhiker’s Guide and soon, the Hobbit trilogy.  

The reason I love this storyline so much isn’t really from the lesson in love, but because it shows that love can blossom in the oddest of places—even between two lighting stand-ins on the set of a British porno:

This storyline is short, and mostly to provide some lightheartedness throughout the film, but something about it just makes me smile every time they’re onscreen. And no, it’s not the nudity.

While I love these two storylines, my hands down #1 favorite is that of Sam.

Sam has 3 separate “love storylines” in this movie. He has the love lost in the passing of his mother, the love he shares in a very adult, yet adorable relationship with his step-father, Daniel (aka The Man himself, Liam Neeson), and THE ONE—classmate Joanna.

What I love about this storyline is Sam himself. This isn’t a story of puppy love to Sam. This is it. He is 100% committed to the fact that this is the love of his life. Sam is unwavering—he determines that the way to win Joanna over is to perform with her in the school Christmas “play” (I use this term loosely, because in it, at the birth of Jesus, there are not 1, not 2, but THREE lobsters AND a whale). Sam practices nonstop, and drums his heart out to one of my favorite Christmas songs, All I Want for Christmas is You:

As is inevitable, because love only wins at the very end, Sam chases after Joanna through Heathrow airport and finally gets the kiss he so rightfully deserves. How’s that for getting the shit kicked out of you by love?

I know there’s so much more, but I’m pretty sure everyone’s done plenty of gushing over Hugh Grant and Colin Firth on the internet, and as much as they make me giddy throughout this movie, I don’t think I need to get into that here.

I guess what I’m trying to get at, if there’s going to be a Christmas lesson at the end of it all, is this: Christmas and love go hand in hand. We give gifts to make those we love happy, we share a holiday meal with loved ones as it brings joy to us all…Love really is all around us this time of year. Love (Christmas) is all around us, as Billy Mack would say.

So, get out there, and tell the truth. Because if you can’t say it on Christmas, when can you, eh?

P.S. - In case you're bitter that I didn't talk about the adorable Prime Minister and Natalie:

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 8, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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