I don’t get why some people have such a problem with Love Actually. Some people are definitely hate it. They might be the kind of people who think that Four Weddings and A Funeral are shit. So, is there opinion even important? [Are you saying I don’t know who my own brother is?]
But there are:
A few problems with Love Actually
The Martin Freemen/Joanna Page storyline is essentially just a good joke – as opposed to a story. Which isn’t a problem so much if this was a sketch show. But it’s not. It’s supposedly an anthology of love stories.
Not that it is alone in not having too much depth. But the others are like the outlines of a good story and you kind of fill in the blanks. Whereas every bit of their story is a repetition is that they’re stand ins who do a lot of sex scenes/being naked with each other but who are bashful about their feelings. It is a good joke. Just doesn’t seem like a story. So, they get married at the end so it seems like there is an arc or something.
The guy from My Family‘s story isn’t much better in terms of depth. Again it’s just pretty much a joke rather than a story. The joke is he has a ridiculous fantasy that he can just go to America and have some luck with women just because he is English. And he ends up having group sex with several beautiful women the moment he steps off the plane! LOL!
Are all the stories as shallow as a good idea? Not really. The Hugh Grant/Martine McCutcheon one is good isn’t it? I mean there’s a story there. A shallow one but that’s the nature of this kind of film. But there is a story there.
There is also a story hinted at by the Mr D’Arcy storyline. A joke and storyline. Am I over-crediting this story above those I have earlier pointed out as having nothing? Perhaps it is because the pay-off is so very funny after a more subtle set-up than a tall man saying shag a lot.
The Bill Nighy story is also good and more than just a joke. If it was, what would the joke be? Not trying to be popular is the best way to become popular? That’s not even a joke, it’s a moral. I mean the storyline is kind of a commentary on the nature of hype and publicity. And about friendship being one of the best kinds of love.
The Laura Linney storyline is one of the two that interests me the most. It’s pretty fucking sad and there is no remotely happy ending. She basically fucks over the chance of being with this guy she is in love with so her brother can suck her hair and threaten to kill her for being a sofa. I know you’re probably meant to watch it and be all like, ‘that’s a higher love right there, that love for her brother is pure.’ Well if that’s your idea of a life.
The Egg from This Life thing is another pretty dark romcom storyline really. The ending is neither sad nor happy but it swings towards happy with it’s kind of upbeat he’s-stopped-stalking-his-best-friends-wife smile that he does after walking off FROM TELLING HER HE LOVES HER WITH BIG SIGNS WHILE HIS BEST FRIEND IS 10 METRES AWAY. The friend kind of deserves it though – what kind of man wouldn’t go and investigate something that was so clearly a recording?
All that leaves is the Rickman/Thompson storyline and Liam Neeson and the elf. There’s nothing original about the former but the fact that Emma Thompson is a fucking acting don means that she makes a very lot out of not much.
For parts of Liam Neeson’s grieving husband storyline it just feels like an excuse for a Curtis character to say slightly flippant things about a serious issue that people normally tiptoe around (like when Gine McKee – not an actual paraplegic thank God- says something about her pissing legs being shit in Notting Hill). And the son looks like a little woodland elfin. But he has turned up in Game of Thrones so I forgive him.
At least what I think of the different stories in Love Actually has now been captured. Phew.