2003, Richard Curtis (Notting Hill) -- download
So, this has become a tradition without it becoming a thing. The rewatch of Love Actually. And I have to retract my previous statement of it not being a Christmas movie; it definitely is, as the whole "countdown weeks to Christmas" thing comes up prominently on the screen as all the stories progress.
If you don't know, the movie is an ensemble cast of characters in London with subtle connections between friends, family and coworkers showing up as they tell the tale of loves. What I love (*ahem*) about it, is that it is not just Good Love, but All Love. It's not just about things always working out for the best. Laura Linney's Sarah and underwear model (really, that's what he looks like) Karl never do get together. And Alan Rickman & Emma Thompson go through an encounter that their relationship will probably never recover from.
Laura Linney has only been working for Alan Rickman for 2 years and they are great friends, smacking each other and having true heart to hearts. He must be a nice guy which makes his downfall all the more tragic. And yes, he does sleep with his secretary -- the screen editor (and Curtis's wife) recently confirmed that. Pig. Marmy was right all these years.
P.S. Said Screen editor, Emma Freud's live tweets of the show, are great fun.
The Prime Minister fancies Natalie right away. I get it, it is supposed to be very obvious but it shocks me every time. His sister's comment (Emma Thompson) later on makes these earlier scenes make sense, "20 years ago you would have been his exact type." But in that relationship, he may be the Prime Minister but she has all the power and confidence.
Billy Bob is quite the convincing American asshole.
The relationship between Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson (a grieving recent widower) is great; so raw and close. Friends who mock each other and can still be supportive while being brutally honest. And so is the connection between Neeson and his step-son. Obviously, both of them have been preparing for Sam's mother's death for many years but the two share each other's company of grief very well. That they have Sam's crush to distract them is very sweet.
Bill Nighy is always playing such distinguished gentlemen, he must have had a ball playing the washed up, sleazy rock star. And I am pretty sure that is Laura Vandervoort from Bitten playing one of the background singers; though maybe not, as Vandervoort has always been far more skinny than that singer.
Rick Grimes is not as scary in this movie. Bing bing Keira, it takes you long enough. I would expect her husband to be dense and unaware of the whole attraction thing, but she should have caught on pretty quickly. BTW, Keira Knightley is 18 in this movie. And she is marrying Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is 26. Where are her irate parents? Lynden David Hall is the singer at their wedding, and yes, we are supposed to know who he is -- Britishism.
Final thoughts on this round is that I still wish the Colin Frissell story in that Milwaukee bar had all been a dream. Its far too silly when compared to the rest of the movie and was probably only inserted to give all the boyfriends, who attended the movie as a favour to their girlfriends, something to chuckle at.
My least favourite stories should be apparent with Colin Firth's Uncle Jamie and his crush on his maid followed by the very cute porn movie stand-ins, starring the not yet famous Martin Freeman. And yes, its a porn movie, not just a movie with sex scenes. I still think his funny walk at the end of the movie (their first kiss) is a boner walk, after him having maintained decorum during all their previous interactions.