A Film Review By Jason L. King
Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Rowan Atkinson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Kierra Knightly
Directed By:Richard Curtis
Love pops up in the weirdest of places. It’s that human emotion that is almost indescribable. Everyone remembers the first time they were in love, and everyone wants to feel if they haven’t already. That’s right love is an emotion that knows no boundaries, has no limits, has no sense of time and doesn’t take no for an answer. You sometimes wish that it wouldn’t happen; sometimes love can mean more pain than it’s worth. But then there are some people who take a chance on love. The truth is sometimes taking a chance on love is actually what everyone needs. And in Richard Curtis’s new Romantic Comedy Love Actually that is just the story we get mixed in with a little bit of some good, old-fashioned holiday cheer.
To give you the entire plot of Love actually I would be here for what seems like an hour. Writer and Director Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones Diary) had a lot to work with. His film is the story composed of approximately 8-9 different stories or more. Each of them is approaching the holiday season either falling in love with someone unexpected or falling out of love with someone else. Our characters span a wide variety of talent and social classes, ranging from the newly elected prime minister (Hugh Grant) to an aging pop star (Bill Nighy) a newly divorced writer (Colin Firth) and the list goes on.
With so many stories to work with it is hard to believe that a movie like this could work. At first thought I would have thought there was way too much material to cover effectively. But surprisingly enough Curtis does a fantastic job in the editing room, giving the audience exactly what they need to find feeling for each character without dragging the story out long past it’s runtime. Curtis does a nice job of moving quickly from scene to scene utilizing his entire cast to their potential. Curtis pushes each story through the works quickly and effectively and all the pieces of the puzzle in the end come together like clockwork.
But all the credit can’t go to writer and director Richard Curtis, but also to his outstanding cast. Few people will be able to keep from laughing at the aging pop star character played by Bill Nighy. His ridiculous antic as he tries to sell his new Christmas Album make for a shroud of laughter. And many people can say that Hugh Grant only has one character, which in a way he kind of does, but once again he pulls off the charming British snob to mere perfection once again. In the land of romantic Comedies Few can argue that Hugh Grant is quickly becoming this king of his time. Grant has a charisma that just oozes out in every one of his characters (or character if you would prefer) and in this case he makes Love Actually, well actually good. Also joining the ranks is the equally talented faces of Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth, who do a nice job as well. The long cast list of famous names goes on and on and when it is said that Curtis had a star studded cast, make no mistake, he really did have a star studded cast; and each of them did something note worthy.
But every movie has a flaw and love actually has it’s flaws too. Amidst the charming, romantic fun this movie provides we find a few characters that aren’t developed well enough to care about or some story lines that really didn’t need to be there. The story of 2 nude actors falling in love seemed almost unnecessary. I was also partial to getting rid of the Laura Linney characters storyline, but it may have partially been that she shared the same Cell phone ring as myself (which meant I kept trying to turn my phone off) as well as her constant obsession with answering her phone well kind of reminded me of myself.
But in the end, Love actually is actually a wonderful heartwarming film. It has an outstanding cast and a wonderful combo of stories that make for an overall wonderful film. It may not be the Oscar Winning flick of the year, nor may it be the biggest feel good flick of the year but it is the best romantic comedy of the holiday season and quite possibly the year. So go brave the cold, and the holiday season with your sweetie, take him or her to the movies and go check out Love actually. Male or female chances are you will actually like it.