Actual love bashing develops into a boring annual sport

Wa bit of love actually bothers you the most? For me personally, it’s when Kris Marshall’s character is about to get on a plane to find some hot American chicks to fuck, and he yells, “Here comes Colin Frissell… and he’s got a big munch.” Obviously, when I do saw the man My family Yelling that in an airport would ruin not only my vacation but my entire Christmas. But what bothers me more love actuallyactually, is the way Richard Curtis gets spanked Now 45 Putting together a Christmas movie has become an annual sport. This time of year the takes are really ubiquitous. People declare this fluffy film problematic. anti-feminist. Practically the Antichrist. Earlier this week, Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show even had a section examining the film’s “red flags” and asking if we should stop watching it all together.

That seems a bit intense for something most of us only see on Christmas Eve when we’re a bit tired and have met the Baileys, but we still have presents to wrap. Besides, not everyone thinks love actually is propaganda for rich white men in turtlenecks; some people really like it. This week a special 20th anniversary show, The laughter and secrets of real love: 20 years latersaw Curtis, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and others reminisce about filming the film, which once again made us wonder if Laura Linney ever dated her hot colleague, or if Thompson and Alan Rickman’s marriage survive his cold betrayal would.

And yet the film has been re-evaluated so many times over the past two decades that you’d think it would be more falling down as festive Four Weddings. It all started with Lindy West’s much imitated takedown for Jezebel, but that reflected the silliness of the film in general, not just its gender politics. (For example, why is Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) doing a Christmas record five weeks before Christmas? Seems disorganized.) It’s obviously very British to poke fun at things, especially when they’re as sincere as Curtis is. “I think the way you think about life is that every day has the potential to be just awesome,” he honestly said on the reunion special. “You have to remember that when he writes about love, he means business,” Grant said. said Linney The Independent that the film works because of its “unique optimism”. But in our hypercynical social media age, how could a movie that uses a wet wet wet song as its philosophy not be mocked? I sometimes wonder if our allergy to silliness and sentimentality is a bit of a shame; Romcoms cannot survive such archaic self-awareness.

For the record, I won’t say love actually is a great movie. When it was first released, The New York Times described it as “an indigestible Christmas pudding from the British whim factory”; The guard said that Grant wore “the suppressed, questioning grin of an actor who, the moment he said ‘Cut!’ hear, will definitely burst into laughter.” The Independent‘s two-star review bemoaned the film’s over-the-top tendencies, saying that Curtis “can’t look at a pudding without overdoing it.”

These comments are all correct and there are things we can legitimately criticize love actually to the. First, there’s the lack of diversity, which Curtis admittedly makes “awkward” this week. Then there’s the fact that all relationships are heterosexual (a same-sex storyline starring Frances De La Tour and Anne Reid was cut). And finally, yes, Andrew Lincoln’s character might have approached things a little less like a serial killer. But I’m also not sure if the film’s reputation as a sweet male fantasy full of submissive women is entirely justified. We see Nighy’s biting, washed-out rock star realize no one really loves him. Linney’s character puts caring for her brother above her own desires because life is hard and sometimes people have to do that. Liam Neeson witnesses his child’s first crush as he mourns the loss of his wife. And Emma Thompson’s quietly devastated matriarch who finds out about her husband’s secret affair? This scene of her crying in the bedroom is one of her best performances ever.

Nobody ever said love actually should be a guide for life. It serves another, perfectly adequate purpose. So, pour yourself a Baileys, get the presents ready and let this goofy, stupid movie get you through Christmas Eve. It’s not the Antichrist, folks. It’s just a Richard Curtis movie. Actual love bashing develops into a boring annual sport


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