Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Actually.

Love Actually (2003), directed by Richard Curtis, is one of those heart-warming romantic comedies I just can't get enough of. The humour is always fresh, a la You've Got Mail, and the romance is as sweet as its gets, but not overly so. I've watched Love Actually a countless number of times, and what strikes me is the fact that I never get tired of it. Every time I watch it, I find myself warming to the characters, smiling at the jokes, and when the film's over, I'm left with a warm fuzzy-happy feeling.

The movie follows the stories of separate people, all inter-related somehow, set in and around London. It's about love in its many manifestations, about love in different forms. Love that knows no class boundaries - the Prime Minister falling for the tea-lady. Unrequited love - the man who has a crush on his best friend's wife. Love with an obstacle- the woman unable to continue a relationship with the man she loves, because of her mentally ill brother. Love with a language barrier - the writer who is taken with the charms of his Portuguese housekeeper. Love despite being cheated on - the wife who chooses to stay with her philandering husband for the sake of her children. Love in an unusual place - two actors taking to each other on the sets of an erotic film. Love in mourning - the husband who cannot get over his wife's death. Love in terms of friendship - the old rock ' roll star who begins to appreciate his manager's efforts. And childish love - the boy who has just lost his mother, falling for the 'coolest girl in school'.

Love Actually
is a movie with soul - it's a movie that reaches out to you, makes you feel good, and makes you feel that really and truly, love is all around us. It shows itself in the strangest of places and situations, often it may not be romantic - it may be a childish crush, or it may even be lust - but the point is that it exists.

Is there blatant stereotyping in the film? - possibly. Does one need suspension of disbelief? - Yes, in certain parts. Is the story a little forced at times? - perhaps. But that doesn't change the fact that Love Actually is a very genuine film that speaks to you, it's enjoyable, the script is great, and there are some fantastically funny moments that leave you laughing - like when the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) dances down the stairs, and when Jamie and his Portuguese housekeeper jump into the water to recover his manuscript. The cast is a great one - watch out for the likes of Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, and many, many more. Rowan Atkinson's guest appearance, too, is extremely memorable.

This movie has character. It has depth. Yes, perhaps the plot is unrealistic at times (would the US President try to grope the tea-lady? No way. Would the UK Prime Minister go door-to-door with only one bodyguard? Yeah right!) But at the end of the day, it is a movie, and sometimes, cinema is allowed to stretch itself, to be slightly unreal, because often, what we want in cinema is not reality, we want to be convinced that what we do not feel in the world around us does actually exist, in some way or another.

Love Actually
is an absolutely delightful homage to love. Whenever I watch it, I find myself warming up to the characters, no matter if I don't identify with them the slightest bit. While it was made specifically for the holiday season, I think it's relevant to any time, any place - it's a film that has the power to convince you that love exists - fulfilled or unfulfilled, happy or sad - it doesn't matter. It's a strong emotion that reaches out and grips you, and Love Actually does exactly that.

Don't classify this is as a chick-flick, or sweet-as-sugar romance. I think it's much more than that - it's a commentary on life itself. Watch this movie for an instant pick-me-up, some great laughs, a general feeling of happiness, and if you're a girl- you're bound to be swooning at Firth, Grant, and Neeson! Just when you thought things couldn't get better, eh? *grin*

9 comments:

the soliloquist said...

I wouldn't say it's one of my all-time favourite romantic comedies but that's perhaps because it's more than just a rom-com.
My favourite plot line is (obviously) the Hugh Grant one, for its sheer mushy, feelgood-ness, followed by the Alan Rickman one and the one with Keira Knightley.Even the ones with the mentally ill brother(Laura Linney) and Billy Mack and Joe are brilliant. The only plot line that I found a little forced was the Colin Firth one. I thought it could be dealt with in a better way: whenever I see the movie it seems to me that the Portuguese love affair is Colin Firth's rebound relationship.

The review is very well-written as usual.
I shall end my epic comment now. :)

Magically Bored said...

@ The Soliloquist: Yes, I think Love Actually is more than just a romantic comedy. Definitely. I think the Alan Rickman-Emma Thompson plot was more complex than the rest. As in, it wasn't mush, but it was actually more like a real-life situation. As for the Portuguese love affair, yes, it did seem a bit of a rebound, but then, Firth is hot, so he's forgiven. *grin*

storyteller said...

Oh yes this has to be one of my favorite romantic movie ever and I love,and unlike Sohini I love the plot with Colin Firth. I like your review much too because it doesn't go over the top ,its just the right balance of praise and criticism.

Brainless said...

Oh thank god you are finally back.. as again..a delectable piece of review for a delectable motion picture. One of my favourites. This movie has such a charm that you can't watch it just once. I myself have watched it countless time. Each and every character is fascinating and presented in a prim and proper way with their share of strength and weakness. A perfect blend of human emotions. Tastes just too good. The aroma just so fragrant.

hope to see more reviews from you...

hehe..I watched 25 movies in 7 days...and watching some more today....

do you see japanese/chinese/korean/italian/french movies??? just curious...

Magically Bored said...

@ Storyteller: Yes, and Firth is hot, though I might have mentioned that before. :P

@ Brainless: Thanks for the compliments, by the way, who are you? About foreign movies, have just seen a few here and there, but I am interested in them, yes, I would like to watch more.

Brainless said...

Hmm...who am I? Well, I am putting it in simple words. I am a fan who likes to read both your blogs as soon as you update them. Yeah sometime I do post comments and sometimes I don't. But I do read them. Its like a feel good feeling[I don't know if I can put it in a more better way]...but its just like that... :)

oke this is a list of ten movies which I recommend to you..there are more...but I can't write all the names...
1]My Sassy girl[Korea]- I don't know if you will like it..its very simple...but then that's what make this movie outstanding
2]City Of God[Brazil]- yes brazilian guys can make wonderful movies...
3]Chungking Express[hong kong]- My personal favourite...by wong kar wai...its a masterpiece...I watch it at least once a day..kinda hooked to this movie...
4]Paradise Now - a movie from palestine...just saw it yesterday..am stumped
5]Fateless... [Hungary]..if you have liked the boy in striped pyajamas...you will love this one for sure...it has a cameo by daniel craig
6]zozo...from sweden/lebabon..a good one...
I saw this a long time back in zee studio
7]Savior- You should see this movie for dennis quiad...I loved this because I am bit obsessed about the bosnian war...directed by oliver stone
8]Seven Samurai- by kurosawa made in 1954...a masterpiece....
9]Days of Glory..france...directed by rachid baroucheb...terse acting...curt portrayal...
10]Motorcycle Diaries...the reason..only one...Che

Magically Bored said...

@ Brainless: Thank you. :) I shall try and get hold of these movies.

Sougata said...

I saw this movie, well vary candidly the review was better than the movie :) .I felt it was kind of mawkish . I like romantic movies but enjoy a hint of subtlety in them.Good good review :).Before sunrise and Before sunset were fodu . I even liked Malena -I watched the movie quit a few times and I understood the movie after I grew past my college years ,the movie ends with in a very beautiful scene and a enthralling monologue from the 12 year old Renato
-"Of all the girls who asked me to remember them, the only one I remembered is the one who did not ask."

Magically Bored said...

@ Sougata: Thank you. :) But I am a little confused as to what 'fodu' means.