Love Actually is All Around

Opening scene at a London airport as people are reunited, voice-over by the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant):  Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is ~ all around.

Spoiler Alert:  I am going to talk about this 2003 movie, which I love!


We kicked off the holiday-movie viewing season with one of my favorites last night:  Love Actually, from British Director, Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and “Pirate Radio”) who has a knack for using a large array of actors and juggling multiple storylines within one pretty cohesive tale.  Love Actually focuses on more than a dozen characters, happy and sad threads being woven together during the Christmas season.  It isn’t a love story per se, but many stories about love, love that is good and happy, sad and devastating, surprising, open, closed, whatever.  But ultimately it explodes and multiplies in the giving.  Love.

In 2007, I watched this movie about 17 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I cried everytime.  I won’t tell  you why I cried, but I’ll tell you some things I love, songs (I have the soundtrack, naturally) and scenes.

Why I Actually Love Love Actually

  • Keira Knightly plays a gorgeous bride in a spectacular wedding scene in which almost all of the cast is present.  I have decided to surprise Tredessa with a similar ending to her wedding…when it happens.  Shh. Don’t tell her.  All you need is love…
  •  The best man, later found to have been hiding a secret crush is emotionally powerful, first in his “self-preservation” scene to the Dido song, “I won’t go, I won’t sleep,  I can’t breathe, until you’re resting Here with Me” (I love his sweater, his vulnerability, his angst), and later with a CD player and hand-written signs in his hands. {“But for now, let me say – Without hope or agenda – Just because it’s Christmas – And at Christmas you tell the truth – To me, you are perfect – And my wasted heart will love you – Until you look like this. [picture of a mummy]}
  • Kelly Clarkson’s “The Trouble with Love Is, it can tear you up inside; make your heart believe a lie;  it’s stronger than your pride…”
  • The sweet conversations between Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia even though he speaks English and she speaks Portuguese.  They don’t understand each other, yet, somehow, they do.  Jamie: [in English] It’s my favorite time of day, driving you home.   Aurelia: [in Portuguese] It’s the saddest part of my day, leaving you.
  • Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) ditching an Elton party for friendship.
  • {sigh} Sarah?  The dang phone over Karl?  Seriously?  What are you thinking…family.  I guess that is it.  But I love the happy dance on the stairwell!
  • The Nativity play is pretty modern and odd: Lobsters at the birth of Jesus?  More than one?  And an octopus!  But I don’t think a Hollywood filmmaker would even have put one in at all.
  • Natalie and the Prime Minister.  Oooohhhh.  So cute.  Her Christmas card to him.  Sweet.  And unlike everyone else, he does not see her as “chubby.”    Gotta love him!  But she does need to watch her mouth.
  • I kind of enjoy Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal as the cocky, entitlement-mongering American President.  That is, before I wanted to slap him.  So-I guess it was a good performance.
  • Such strong emotion with the funeral scene set to the Bay City Rollers’ “Bye, Bye, Baby, baby, good-bye;  Bye Bye, baby, baby don’t cry.  You’re the one girl in town I’d marry...”  Then Liam Neeson as the grieving widower building relationship with his stepson, helping the boy express his true love to his classmate (who sings a crazy-amazing version of Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want for Christmas is You!  That little girl can sing!). 
  • The no-nonsense Karen (played by Emma Thompson).  She is the rock.  She is the hardworking woman doing everything right for everyone, while still questioning her purpose (compared to, say, her brother – the Prime Minister).  But Joni Mitchell’s music is proof of her strong, deep emotion.
  • Rowan Atkinson’s performance as a slightly “Our-Town-‘stage-manager’-esque” character, sort of an all-knowing, otherworld diviner in a couple of small, but pivotal scenes is hilarious.  I have often wondered why, maybe, there wasn’t more of him.  But that may have taken the film to a whole new level of fantasy? 


It’s a silly, sad, sweet, funny, ridiculous, strange and adorable movie.  There are too many nude scenes and you have to fast-forward the “skin-flick” scenes a little, but hopefully not enough to miss the cute story that comes from it.  The storyline I could have done without was the strange-looking boy who went to America and very successfully got lots of girls because of his “cute, British accent.”  Yes, I can believe American girls are that shallow at times, sadly.  And the little vixen in the workplace is a {bad word I can’t say here} and I could have done without her, too.  But, it is full of great music and really good actors and lighthearted scenes.  It starts sweetly and ends amazingly!  It is the longest, most enjoyable ending after ending ever, set to the Beach Boys singing, “I may not always love you, but as sure as there are stars above you, you never need to doubt it.  I’ll make you so sure about it, God Only Knows what I’d be without you…”

I LOVE the ending. 

I wish I could show it here, but everytime it shows up on Youtube, it gets taken off again.  I will be watching this movie again before Christmas.  Maybe more than once.  Probably more than once.


Love Actually is Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language.  It is NOT for children.

4 thoughts on “Love Actually is All Around

  1. Hummmmm…..I wonder if it’s healthy for adults?????..even!.. ha! I was entrigued by what you wrote. Thought maybe it might make a good Christmas Present for your Dad. He’s always looking for good movies to watch. But~~I’m~~not sure. Ya know? They can come up with some really awesome films — as this one seems to be as far as theme and all—Wish we could make a few changes and be enthralled with it —as you have been. Still—– as usual~~~You have written “well” –once again. ~~~Mom, (Grandma)

  2. There is just so much about this movie that I adore and love…actually:) I, too, love the scene with Mark(the best man) when Keira Knightley realizes he is in love with her and that is why he has been treating her so poorly. Anything with Hugh Grant is a favorite of mine and Emma Thompson as well…I pretty much love the British and their movies:)

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