Christmas Cracker Review – Love Actually

A terrific ensemble cast jammed into a Christmas rom-com. What’s not to love, actually?

Kit Morris

Love Actually is Christmas excess at its finest. Picture the scene: it’s the early noughties, and Richard Curtis is typing away at a screenplay for a new romantic comedy that will follow in the footsteps of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. To embody the festive spirit, he treats himself: “Instead of one or two love stories, why not have nine instead?”

If this film were a human being, it would be falling asleep on the couch by mid-afternoon on Christmas day, content with how much food it managed to stuff itself with. It’s mostly all-Brit ensemble cast is pretty impressive, and not one talented lead is wasted.

How to sum up the plot? Hugh Grant plays the British prime minister who is desperate to woo his tea girl. His sister, Emma Thompson is suspicious that her husband (Alan Rickman) is cheating on her. Thompson’s good friend (Liam Neeson) has to contend with loneliness after his wife dies.

The always excellent Bill Nighy steals the show with his genuine charm and warmth.  He channels Keith Richards in his portrayal of the washed up middle-aged rock star Billy Mack. Without a love story in tow, he is free to embark on a cynical self-destructive marketing drive, shamelessly bad-mouthing his new Christmas single.

It may be self-indulgent, but Love Actually makes up for it by being so very, very funny. A must-see!

Images courtesy of United International Pictures 

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