Love Actually (UK/USA, 2003)
Seen: Tuesday, 13th October 2009 (VHS, repeat viewing)
Director: Richard Curtis
Cast: Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Thomas Sangster, Alan Rickman, Lúcia Moniz, Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Olson
Production House: Universal Pictures, Studio Canal, Working Title Films, DNA Films
Plot: (from imdb)
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
What is it with Working Title Film and trailers having shots that were missing from the final edit? They’ve done it again! lol
Impressions In Short
Another fun, romantic film (that’s the genre one ends up watching the most of on a Colin Firth phase ;) ). Though when I watch this one I always feel that a script and cast this strong should make the films much better than it is. It somehow doesn’t quite fulfil its potential.
More About the Film
When I watch this, I feel that it’s almost a Bollywood film *grin* And before you say it doesn’t have any song and dance numbers - think again ;) It just incorporates them into the plot a lot more naturally than a Bollywood film would. But you do actually get quite a few, like for instance:
- The singing scene during the wedding
- Hugh Grant as the prime minister getting caught dancing when he thinks nobody is looking (you can see it here)
- All the bits of Bill Nighy and his music videos
- The company party with all the dancing
But for me one of the most powerful scenes in the film is little Olivia Olson singing in the school finale (apparently they actually tried to make her voice sound more like a child’s in the post-production cause it was just too good lol). Perhaps unlike the other music scenes, this one is very blatantly a song and dance number. Check it out - it’s quite something :)
Of course all of the music scenes are very much part of the story, which is unlike Bollywood. But the significance that music and dancing has in the film is very much like a Bollywood film IMO. And of course there’s the whole love message too *grin*
Bollywood comparisons aside, I love the script - I think that if you’re going to go whole hog on the love theme then this is totally the way to do it. It has a great cast also, but somehow, even though nobody puts in a bad performance, nobody is quite at their best either (although maybe I’m being a bit unfair on Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson *grin*). Some sort of excitement and oomph is missing from the film, though despite having watched the film quite a few times I still haven’t quite been able to put my finger on what’s wrong.
Any romance fans will almost certainly have a lot of fun with this. In romance standards this is great. I’m not sure how well it stands outside the genre though. It’s good enough I suppose, but I’m not sure how appealing somebody who isn’t into romance would find this.