Review of "love actually"

Essay by kevinkevin May 2004

download word file, 1 pages 4.6 2 reviews

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Cynics may be sick, romantics will feel their spirits soar. Richard Curtis returns.

The writer responsible for the biggest British hits of the last ten years - Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary - directs this vibrant romantic comedy, blending ambition with good sense by filling the profuse parts of his multi-storied script with excellent, experienced actors, and rising young stars.


Ten stories intertwine, loosely connected by friends of friends, family and next-door-neighbours. There's the new, bachelor prime minister (Hugh Grant) falling for the teagirl (Martine McCutcheon); his sister (Emma Thompson) suspecting her husband (Alan Rickman) may stray; her mate (Liam Neeson) grieving over his wife's death; his stepson (Thomas Sangster) longing for a girl from school...

The writer (Colin Firth) heartbroken in France; his newlywed friends (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keira Knightley) whose best man (Andrew Lincoln) acts oddly; their Yank friend (Laura Linney) who wants a beau in Blighty; the sex-starved Brit (Kris Marshall) heading to the sexed-up United States; his best mate's buddy (Martin Freeman) falling for a pornstar stand-in.

And bestriding it all, Bill Nighy is brilliant as a washed-up Rod Stewart-alike rock singer, whose coarse cover of the Four Weddings... theme song is climbing the charts towards a seasonal number one: "Christmas," he sings, "is all around."


Inevitably, some strands are almost forgotten and actors underused. A soft focus Short Cuts, the movie lacks the layered fluency of Robert Altman's work - or the hard edge. But while there's enough treacle to turn a bee diabetic, it is not without raw emotional moments - with Thompson outstanding in a tear-duct tingling scene.

You can almost see Curtis pressing the emotional buttons, but he does it so well you won't care. Warm, bittersweet and...