Monday, November 4, 2013


10 Years, Actually

Ten years ago this week, A.O. Scott reviewed Love Actually in the New York Times:

The film's governing idea of love is both shallow and dishonest, and its sweet, chipper demeanor masks a sour cynicism about human emotions that is all the more sleazy for remaining unacknowledged. It has the calloused, leering soul of an early-60's rat-pack comedy, but without the suave, seductive bravado. The worst kind of cad is the one who thinks he's really a sensitive guy deep down.

Nice try, Mr. Scott, but Love Actually is a movie overflowing with so much joy that what bubbles over shields it from all criticisms. Rowan Atkinson will catch the harsh words you throw at it, place them in a box, wrap them in ribbon, dump the box in a bag with roses and cinnamon and hand the wonderfully aromatic package back to you with a smile and a wink. There are plenty of things to hate about Love Actually (I once listed many of them on this website), but this week is about the love. It’s about recognizing what makes us look beyond its most irritating characteristics and fall under its spell year after year.

Over the next five days, I will fill you all in on what the movie's characters have been up to over the past 10 years. Because this isn't just Love Actually's 10-year anniversary. This is so much more than Love Actually's 10-year anniversary.

I. Rufus
II. Sarah & Karl, Jamie & Aurélia
III. Colin & Harriet, Daniel & Sam
IV. Billy & Joe, Juliet & Mark
V. Harry & Karen, David & Natalie, John & Judy

39 Comments / Post A Comment




my co-worker's sister-in-law makes $68 every hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her income was $16580 just working on the computer for a few hours. the original source .... www.Work70.com


damnnnn love @a


This movie is seriously flawed but I don't care! I have to watch it every Christmas.


I'M. SO. EXCITED. I quote this movie constantly, and also Hate Actually it with passion. LOVE ACTUALLY COMMENTARY FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN.


@hallelujah The number of my friends who don't get it when I say "We're here!" or "I HATE Uncle Jaime!" is so disheartening.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@hallelujah "Eight is a lot of legs, David." That's one of my faves.


@hallelujah No one catches my reference when I say , "And I'm the lobster!" and it makes me so sad.


@meetapossum I say "I hate Uncle Jamie!" all the time and nobody ever gets it. I say "Where the fuck is my fucking coat?" anytime I lose anything, which I'm sure COULD be confusing, but I live alone, so nobody else needs to decipher if I've lost the potato peeler or my actual coat.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Yep, that's pretty much unavoidable any time there's eight of something.


This is my favorite movie in the whole wide world and every year at Christmas my family watches it and eats fancy sandwiches and it is the best day and so yes please this.


I saw his new film, About Time, over the weekend and it was absolutely wonderful and charming. Go see it!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

My sisters and I will watch this one and "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law because they are perfect holiday movies. Perfect.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose All I want for Christmas is to live in Kate Winslet's cottage. Fun fact: they actually built that cottage for the movie!


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I'm always impressed that Kate Winslet's character can make it all the way home from work before bursting into tears...

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Ophelia REALLY? I want that cottage badly. Hairpin trip!


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose THIS! "The Holiday" is vastly superior to "Love Actually" as far as charmingly British Christmas rom-coms are concerned.


I'm going to dip this movie in yoghurt, cover it in chocolate buttons, and eat it all season long.


@Ophelia I actually LOVE the way Alan Rickman (and I guess other Brits) says "yoghurt" when he's complaining to Rowan Atkinson. "yogg-urt"


ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR SARAH'S STORY. I'm still upset on how she ended...






Oh man, this movie. When it came out, I was spending a couple hours a week volunteering in the most out of the way office building in town. To get there, I had to cut through the empty lobby of the town movie theatre and for weeks I kept passing the Love Actually poster and wondering how difficult it would be to steal it. It was like all my little Anglophile dreams and actor crushes got together and made the poster just for me.

So now I'm thrilled - THRILLED - with this series.


My boyfriend recently pointed out to me that the only people who don't wind up happy in this movie are the two women who sacrifice everything for the people they love: Laura Linney and Emma Thompson. Their suffering is never resolved, and it is implied that it is okay that they are suffering, for they are Noble, which is far more important. We never see Laura get someone to love her. We never see Alan Rickman make it up to Emma. They just keep being nobly sacrificing, forever and ever, amen.

I had never noticed this before. Clearly my boyfriend is a better feminist than I.


@Linette I think you could argue that Alan Rickman and Mark also don't wind up happy? Alan Rickman winds up chagrined, Mark winds up resigned.

But to your overall point, yes.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Linette Maybe the point is that sometimes loving someone means that things don't always end up great, but you just bear it until it gets better. Emma Thompson's husband probably isn't super stoked about the situation either, but they choose to stay together regardless. And Laura Linney chose family love over romantic love, which isn't unusual.

(I am overthinking this movie hard.)


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I'd have a lot more sympathy for Alan Rickman's character if we had any indication that he was being neglected in any way. He seems perfectly happy with his life. He seems to like his job and wife and kids. He has the affair just . . . because it's there? because it's exciting and available? because it's probably pretty thrilling as a middle aged man to have someone aggressively pursue you, when you haven't experienced it for a while?

I can have sympathy for someone who has an affair out of some desperate need to fill a void, but this guy is voidless. He hurts his wife permanently for pretty much no reason at all. I don't have a lot of sympathy for his dissatisfaction with the state of affairs afterward.

Laura Linney does have her brother's love, which is nice, but I always ache for her because no one takes care of her needs. Her brother can't, because he is sick. I don't even need her to have a romantic partner, but it would have been so nice if she'd wound up with a friend or something, some kind of support.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Linette Oh, no one should ever have sympathy for Alan Rickman's character. Ever. He's a total tool. But Emma Thompson loves him, and love makes us do some weird stuff sometimes, like stay with a total tool. But I swear to whomever that whenever I need to make myself cry, I just think of her character in the bedroom after finding out about the necklace, while Joni Mitchell croons. It's such a good/sad cry. Ugh. My heart.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Emma Thompson is my favorite character in the whole movie. (And this is topping my love for Liam Neeson and that awesome kid who plays all the precocious kids everywhere, which is a love of phenomenal force.) She is such a good mom. She's the mom I wish my mom had been. Just all shoving aside her own pain to make sure her kids feel the force of her pride and love for them. All crying alone to Joni Mitchell and then rushing downstairs to be cheerful and make sure they get to the play on time. Uggggghhh Emma Thompson. You are the best. Be my mommy.

Better to Eat You With

I still love this movie. But we watched it the other night and I was pretty appalled at the constant fat-shaming, which I had somehow failed to really notice before.


@Better to Eat You With yes, yes, THIS. This movie is horrible to women not built like Keira Knightley (in what world is Martine McCutcheon not adorable? I think people are swayed by the crisp editing and the English accents - this movie is very sour.


@Better to Eat You With Yup, can we come back next week and everyone who hates this movie can talk about it then?


I'm looking forward to watching this movie again, and reading this series, after having just re-read the entire "Hate Actually" post and all the comments. BRING IT


Sorry, but AO is pretty much always spot on, including with this one. Team AO.


I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation t hat's at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best posting. Judi Bola

Felix Wilson@facebook

Interesting blog , well written. Looking forward to read more because you’re good at it.Leather Jacket France

Casanova Frankenstein

AND it's on netflix now, so you could (hypothetically) watch it every single day.


@Casanova Frankenstein WHUT. I may have to re-activate my Netflix account for this purpose.

Regina Ghal@facebook

Just an interview with Andrew Lincoln: http://noiretlor.com/movies/andrew-lincoln-interview-ten-years-passed

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account