Monday, December 09, 2013

Holiday Thoughts ‘13—Love Actually (2003) ***½

R, 135 min.
Director/Writer: Richard Curtis
Starring: Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Chris Marshall, Heike Makatsch, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Martine McCutchen, Laura Linney, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Alan Rickman, Rodrigo Santoro, Lúcia Moniz, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Fitzgerald, Rowan Atkinson, Ivana Milicevic, January Jones, Elisha Cuthbert, Adam Godley, Claudia Schiffer, Shannon Elizabeth, Denise Richards

It seems people have had more trouble than usual getting into the Christmas spirit this year. That’s certainly the case in my home. Our elf didn’t even show up until this past Saturday. We haven’t broken out the Christmas songs 24/7. We haven’t wrapped any gifts, and most importantly, we haven’t yet watched our regular Christmas movies. No “Christmas Story”, “Lethal Weapon”, or “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It just hasn’t felt right for them. In an effort to ease us into the Christmas Spirit this past weekend, my wife and I decided to go kidless for our first holiday film, “Love Actually”.

“Love Actually” has never been a part of our Holiday viewing before. It lies more within the romantic comedy realm than the Christmas. But then, there are some that argue that “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard” aren’t Christmas movies. They don’t know what they’re talking about. In my opinion, if it takes place at Christmas and begins or ends with a Christmas carol, then it’s a Christmas movie.

“Love Actually” doesn’t exactly open with a Christmas carol, but with one of its best of ten storylines of an aging rock star trying to make his big comeback with a lame reinterpretation of The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around” as “Christmas Is All Around”. Bill Nighy steals the show with a character who is done with all the bull and says it as it is. He’s quite frank about what crap he thinks his song is, so naturally it becomes the hit of the Christmas season.

With ten storylines, I’m not about to go into all of them here for a Penny Thoughts, so let me just say one more little thing. If only Rick from “The Walking Dead” knew about the coming zombie apocalypse, he really wouldn’t have been so concerned about Keira Knightley marrying that slave. I’m just saying.

Note: In order to stave off any accusations of racism or any other misinterpretations of my not-so-great joke, I wish to point out that Knightley’s husband in this film is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who currently stars in the awards season contender “12 Years a Slave” about a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.

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