Hate Actually

With its cast of international superstars, 135-minute running time, nine interconnecting subplots, and ostentatious tagline “The Ultimate Romantic Comedy,” Richard Curtis’ Love Actually seems to have made its way into the pantheon of Christmas classics by sheer force alone. It’s a glossy, big-budget film with borderline-detestable examinations of love and romance containing perhaps three genuine moments that seem to be of our own universe, but Love Actually is one terrible Christmas movie that has strong-armed its way into the hearts of millions (including my own) despite being absolutely terrible. And this is why.

David (Hugh Grant) and Natalie (Martine McCutcheon)

Why I hate actually it:

  • This is the first of three subplots in which a man falls in love with his female subordinate.
  • The female subordinate in question, Natalie, is constantly referred to as “the chubby girl.”
  • Hugh Grant and Billy Bob Thornton both phone it in to play themselves.
  • No one seems to think it’s odd that Hugh Grant is Prime Minister and Billy Bob Thornton is the President of the United States.
  • No, really. How did they get elected?
  • Unbelievable airport security. So someone runs past security and jumps on the Prime Minister and doesn’t get shot? Sure.



Why I love actually it:

  • Hugh Grant and Natalie are SO cute together.
  • Hugh Grant is SO cute when he dances to the Pointer Sisters.
  • Natalie is SO cute when she jumps into Hugh Grant’s arms at Heathrow.
  • When Hugh OWNS the President in that press conference and the music swells and my arms get goosebumps!
  • Oh my god, I say, “EIGHT IS A LOT OF LEGS, DAVID,” all the time!!!
  • The caroling scene! Those little girls!
  • Who knew his driver was such a good singer?!?
  • She jumps into his arms and he catches her!!!

Uncle Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz)

Why I hate actually it:

  • This is the second of three subplots in which a man falls in love with his female subordinate.
  • Jamie and Aurelia never have a conversation before his proposal.
  • Jamie doesn’t back up his work.
  • Jamie doesn’t think writing on a typewriter near a body of water is a problem when one doesn’t back up one’s work.
  • Jamie and Aurelia never have a conversation before his proposal.



Why I love actually it:

  • Colin Firth smiles!
  • Colin Firth speaks broken Portugese!
  • Colin Firth was so good in Bridget Jones!
  • Colin Firth was so good in Bridget Jones 2!
  • Colin Firth was THE BEST Mr. Darcy!
  • Have you seen the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice?!?!
  • Colin Firth proposes and she says, “Yes,” and the music swells and I get goosebumps!



Sarah (Laura Linney) and Karl (Rodrigo Santoro)

Why I hate actually it:

  • Yeah. Karl is single.
  • All the pressure for initiating the relationship is placed on Sarah, despite the fact that Karl seems to return the interest.
  • Yeah. Karl is single.
  • Sarah’s brother’s illness is too vaguely presented for me to fully comprehend her compulsive phone answering. Couldn’t you have pressed ignore while Karl was in your bedroom?
  • Yeah. Karl is single.



Why I love actually it:

  • Laura Linney deserves so much happiness! Haven’t you seen You Can Count on Me?
  • Karl’s glasses!
  • When Alan Rickman is like, “YOU NEED TO DATE HIM,” basically because he’s such a great and supportive boss even though he cheated on Emma Thompson!
  • Their first dance!
  • When she laughs and jumps after their first kiss! :)
  • She’s a really good sister.



Daniel (Liam Neeson) and Sam (Thomas Sangster) and Joanna (Olivia Olson)

Why I hate actually it:

  • It reminds me that I’ll never be Liam Neeson.
  • It reminds me that because I’ll never have a kid who’s exactly like Sam, I’ll never have kids at all.
  • Liam Neeson reminds me of Natasha Richardson, whose death I’m still mourning.
  • Airport security is unbelievably lax. The kid didn’t even have to take off his shoes.



Why I love actually it:

  • That kid!
  • That scene when they watch Titanic for RESEARCH!! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!!!!
  • Claudia Schiffer’s cameo was SOOO CUTE and funny and UNEXPECTED!
  • “All I Want For Christmas Is You” always makes me :)
  • Mr. Bean helps them out by distracting the guard!!!!



Harry (Alan Rickman) and Karen (Emma Thompson) and Mia (Heike Makatsch)

Why I hate actually it:

  • This is the third of three subplots in which men fall in love with female subordinates.
  • It’s far too difficult to watch Karen’s heart break after receiving the Joni Mitchell CD as Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” plays because watching Emma Thompson’s heart break is more devastating to me than when friends and family give me bad news.
  • Karen’s tears sadden me.
  • Karen’s nervous pacing saddens me.
  • Karen’s ability to pull herself together for the sake of their children saddens me.



Why I love actually it:

  • It’s SOOO much fun to yell when Mia comes onscreen!!! Thinks like, “BOOOOOO YOU’RE THE WORST!” or, “BOOOOOOOOO YOU’RE THE DEVIL!”
  • Alan Rickman is the BEST actor to hate in a movie! Love him!!!
  • That scene at the jewelry counter with Mr. Bean and the gift wrap!!!! C-L-A-S-S-I-C!
  • When he says, “THIS IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A BAG!”
  • I know I said I hated watching Karen have an emotional breakdown but there’s also something kind of beautiful about watching someone at their lowest point, you know? Is that sick?



Colin (Kris Marshall), Tony (Abdul Salis), Harriet (Shannon Elizabeth), Carla (Denise Richards), Jeannie (January Jones), and Carol-Anne (Elisha Cuthbert)

Why I hate actually it:

  • Colin may be most irritating character in this movie. I do not wish him love, actually.
  • Despite that, Tony (Colin’s only friend, I presume) is far too unsupportive of Colin’s plan to visit the United States. Why be his friend if you’re unable to have any faith in him?
  • There’s only room for one bumbling Brit in this movie.
  • This subplot reminds me of Shannon Elizabeth’s career.
  • This subplot reminds me of Denise Richards’ career.



Why I love actually it:

  • I love that Colin finds love!!!!
  • English accents!
  • Imperfect teeth!
  • How Colin says, “WISCONSIN!”
  • He’s just so excited to be in America and I LIVE IN AMERICA!!!



Billy (Bill Nighy) and Joe (Gregor Fisher)

Why I hate actually it:

  • OK, maybe there’s one subplot with absolutely nothing to hate.



Why I love actually it:

  • He wrote “LITTLE PRICKS” on that sign!
  • He can’t get the lyrics right!!! LOVE that.
  • When Billy gets a call from Elton John — how cool! Would love to get a call from Elton John!
  • The Britney Spears joke! Love her but still, “shag” and “rubbish” are sooo British words!
  • Billy and Joe finally hug! I almost cried!



John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page)

Why I hate actually it:

  • Again, nothing to hate here. How disappointing!



Why I love actually it:

  • The relationship between John and Judy is one of the — if not the — most fully realized and believable romances in the film. And most of it occurs while John and Judy are simulating sex.



Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and Juliet (Kiera Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Why I hate actually it:

  • Yes, Mark has a crush on his best friend’s wife, but why must he treat her like a piece of garbage?
  • Mark may be the most immature person in this entire movie, and I’m including the kid.
  • If my secret crush found out I was crushin’ through some embarrassing  video footage, the song that would begin playing as I ran out of my apartment would definitely not be Dido’s “Here With Me.”
  • “To me, you are perfect” — well, aside from the married part.
  • Professing your love to your best friend’s wife is never a good idea.
  • Especially around the holidays.
  • And especially on poster board.
  • If my secret crush found out I was crushin’ through some embarrassing  video footage, the song that would begin playing as I ran out of my apartment would definitely not be Dido’s “Here With Me.”



Why I love actually it:

  • He’s in LOVE with her and he can’t TELL her, it’s so tragic and beautiful!!
  • SO CUTE that he videotaped her face the entire time. He just thought she was a gorgeous perfect angel!!!
  • I want someone to profess their love to me on poster board!
  • THEY FINALLY KISS!!!
  • I LOVE DIDO!



Bobby Finger saw New Year’s Eve at midnight last night and doesn’t want to talk about it. OK fine, he wants to talk about it.

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