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8 reviews, 91 user ratings

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Love Actually
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by Elaine Perrone

"I liked it a lot, actually!"
4 stars

Writer Richard Curtis' (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill) first-time directorial effort, Love Actually, feels a lot like Christmas: Huge, wildly over-produced, and artificially glittery, with a cast of what often feels like thousands, and everyone going off in different directions. Clocking in at 129 minutes, it is also, much like Christmas, exhausting -- not surprising, I suppose, given all the chaos that has gone before.

Still, there is no place quite like London in December, and the city looks absolutely stunning here, all decked out in her radiant glory for the holiday season.

The cast, too, is marvelous: I consider it gift enough to see Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, and, most especially, Colin Firth (be still, my heart) together on one screen. With the addition of the immensely likeable Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things), I will declare Love Actually to be "Man(na from) Heaven"!

On the distaff side, Emma Thompson and a radiant Keira Knightley are terrific, as are Denise Richards and Elisha Cuthbert (from TV's 24) in fun cameos. Only Laura Linney fares poorly, seemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a role that suits her not at all.

In this merry roundelay of tales about love in all its manifestations, we meet Britain's bachelor prime minister (Grant) who is smitten with his secretary (Martine McCutcheon), and the PM's sister Karen (Thompson), who worries that her husband Harry (Rickman) may be dallying with a comely assistant from his office.

Karen's friend Daniel (Neeson) is a grieving widower whose small stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) carries a mighty big torch for a pretty schoolmate.

Jamie (Firth) is a writer reeling from a broken marriage, having caught his wife in the sheets with his brother. Moving to France to pick up the pieces, he trades longing glances, and words, with his Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia (Lucia Moniz), although neither speaks the other's language. Jamie's pals, newlyweds Juliet and Peter (Knightley, Ejiofor), treasure a friendship with Mark (Lincoln), unaware of a secret their best man holds in his heart.

Juliet and Peter's American friend Sarah (Linney) longs for romance with a younger co-worker but is hindered by family ties.

Then there's the horny Brit (Kris Marshall), who heads to what he envisions to be the sexual paradise of the American midwest, where he hooks up with a trio of beauties in a country western bar.

Best of all, and looking like he is having mountains of fun amidst all this, is Bill Nighy (I Capture the Castle, Lawless Heart) as Billy Mack, an overbearing, boorish-but-strangely likeable recording "star" sending up a holiday version of Four Wedding's theme, "Love is in the Air."

In riotous cameos, look for Billy Bob Thornton as a particularly heinous U.S. president, and Rowan Atkinson in one of his typical comic-relief appearances (here, as a Harrods clerk).

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8297&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/27/04 02:00:46
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User Comments

11/24/17 Suzanne One of my favorite movies ever - but the Wisconsin plot was ridiculous (Southern accents?) 5 stars
12/19/16 Charity ABSOLUTE BRILLIANT FILM. Brilliant casting. Brilliant acting. Brilliant writing. 5 stars
4/02/12 Shirley Temple Thomas Sangster was one unappealing little boy. How old is he now?, 2 stars
3/23/12 Les S. A bit of a slow start but it pulls you in and you find yourself enjoying it. 3 stars
1/08/11 Beverley Sporck Sends all kinds of messages. Great to view around the holidays. 5 stars
8/06/09 Simon A lot of the reason we do see movies is to feel good. A cheesy guilty pleasure 5 stars
11/30/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
12/03/07 Ionicera sweet and shallow 3 stars
8/31/07 johnnyfog Schitzo plot, but Liam Neeson's in it, so it's OK. 4 stars
5/13/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
4/11/07 Dark Enchantress If i could give it a zero i would! Oh yeah that girl kiera knightly is a slut! 1 stars
2/08/07 Stanley Thai One of the better romantic comedies. 4 stars
12/02/06 William Goss Stuffed, slight, but undeniably charming. Nighy provides snarky oasis amongst the schmaltz. 3 stars
5/05/06 Ashley Hinz I love pieces of this film, just not all of the characters. 4 stars
9/26/05 Corinne Pettersen I adore this movie, especially Carl - please can you give me more information on him. 5 stars
4/14/05 Danny Takes a while to get into it, but worth the time. 4 stars
3/07/05 Hydrian Good romantic flick without being too mushy to deter the guys. 5 stars
2/05/05 Amy Bradshaw Such a sweet film, quite refreshing. 5 stars
12/26/04 mjoc Adequate holiday fare 4 stars
12/24/04 Hugh Janus Too cutesy by the guy that played Karl was fucking deadly...SCHWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
12/12/04 Helen Great movie!! Also loved the music 5 stars
10/23/04 michaelb14 Very feel good, funny movie for the holidays, Nighy is hilarious 4 stars
9/26/04 alicia definitly a chick flick..but a damn good one 5 stars
9/04/04 Dave My whole family loved this film. Funny and touching. Emma Thompson remarkable. 5 stars
8/16/04 John charming and immensely entertaining 5 stars
8/05/04 Chris this movie had maybe too much to say but very sweet and endearing. worth checking out. 4 stars
7/17/04 Daveman I was left with mixed feeling but I won't deny I enjoyed it. 3 stars
7/15/04 S.F Total crap...actually! 1 stars
6/18/04 Monster W. Kung A piece of crap! 1 stars
5/22/04 Vic & Helen We loved it...a happy, warm and romantic comedy 5 stars
5/04/04 Beverley Sporck Need to view it a couple times to 'get' most of it anyway. Thought provoking with humor. 5 stars
5/02/04 chris. packing bad stories into a movie to fit the alotted time does not make a movie "ultimate" 1 stars
4/28/04 The Dude Britain sucks, but the movie was good. 4 stars
4/23/04 Jack Saw it on a plane and found it delightful with a bit of truth but no universal truths 4 stars
4/21/04 Littlepurch. A bit too pointlessly sad in places but some moments were v.funny and acting was all gr8. 4 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart not my sort of thing its too romantic !!9BUT GOOD IF YOU LIKE THAT SORT OF THING) 3 stars
4/09/04 Gemma An absolutely fantastic heart warming film that had me gripped all the way 5 stars
4/07/04 harriet best movie ever actually bloody fantastic 5 stars
3/12/04 wrob Textbook, pithy, sentimental pap. Painfully cliche and predictable at the same time. 2 stars
2/02/04 jacqueline robson love actally is all around good 5 stars
1/24/04 amy not for the cynical or self rightuous 4 stars
1/23/04 Saf aWESOME MOVIE--saw it 3times in the first couple weeks! 5 stars
1/22/04 Chloe Brody This was such an awesome film! Will never get tired of HG in the same role every movie... 5 stars
1/18/04 Cathy It revamps popular cliches with devilish British humour. 5 stars
1/18/04 Carol Shanahan CRAP ACTUALLY 2 stars
1/15/04 Heather Purplethorne Ending has some feelgood fluff, but the getting there -- TOO LONG! 3 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Good cast rounds out this hopelessly contrived, overdone romantic comedy. 2 stars
1/13/04 Chupa Chups I thought it was good! cheesy, but touching. 5 stars
1/10/04 Chris You cannot be serious! Have our tastes slipped this low??? 1 stars
1/10/04 Shadaan Yikes ! 2 stars
1/09/04 ness you HAVE to see this film 5 stars
1/07/04 Mokina It was a really sweet movie not everythings about sorrow,good to see that portrayed 4 stars
1/01/04 OnlyChild It's a sweet movie.. 4 stars
12/30/03 christina thomas sangster made me love this movie, he was the best actor there 5 stars
12/30/03 Chlo Gyllenhaal I thought this was really good! Cheesy, but the sort of film that just made you smile! 4 stars
12/28/03 your worst goddamn nightmare you might get this if you really really love someone... loved it, actually... 4 stars
12/27/03 Donelle Occasionally quite funny, over-inflated, deliberate audience manipulation & predictable 2 stars
12/27/03 John Bale The ultimate Xmas feel good movie with a fine cast. Lotsa Fun. 4 stars
12/22/03 Dee Fantastic Film. loads of hot men, the funniest film I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
12/20/03 Littlepurch Some depressing bits but v. funny overall. Loved it, actually. 4 stars
12/16/03 Greg Register Without fail...one of the most entertaining films I have seen in years. 5 stars
12/16/03 Michelle Teeva, you must be a women's rights lesbian, get off it. 5 stars
12/15/03 jada most hot men in one movie 4 stars
12/15/03 Teeva so sexists, every woman subserviant - while exposed! gratuitously. 1 stars
12/14/03 Ginnie Roberts Brilliant 5 stars
12/14/03 Kent I enjoyed it - funny & thought-provoking. 4 stars
12/14/03 christina Gee this is the bst movie ever 5 stars
12/13/03 Carla It was fabulous! Alan Rickman is the best! 5 stars
12/12/03 Viv Phillips Xmas feel good movie for 2003 ! Yeah Poms you sure know how to do it! 5 stars
12/10/03 Jummai It had warm funny scenes and you werent forced to laugh and enjoy it, came naturally 4 stars
12/09/03 katrina lomas feel good and fun 5 stars
12/08/03 Vicky Adams I loved it. I bet everyone watching could relate to one of the stories 5 stars
12/02/03 Hayley Absolutely terrible. Calculated, stereotypical, sexist and racist (against the Portuguese). 1 stars
12/01/03 the muffinman who the hell is karl and where can i find out more about him hes sexy 5 stars
12/01/03 president billy bob Too many low points to mention all - a very sappy R-rated chick flick,not a film for guys. 2 stars
11/30/03 guisada yes 5 stars
11/30/03 LordJiggy A brave masterpiece about choice and choosing love...even if it costs you. 5 stars
11/26/03 Mike H Crap, actually. Which is surprising considering the great cast. 2 stars
11/22/03 jrsygrl I enjoyed the film because it leaves you with a warm-fuzzy feeling - - and a smile. 4 stars
11/22/03 Bobbio Best film of the year, great cast, very funny. 5 stars
11/21/03 amy made me feel warm and fuzzy, without hating myself for it 5 stars
11/18/03 Johnny's Been Rotten Saw it. Loved it. Most charming movie of the year. 5 stars
11/18/03 nick2k very cute and adorable... "we're gonna get the shit kicked out of us by love" 5 stars
11/17/03 marzio arigoni@rtsi.ch too many boring little stories... 2 stars
11/15/03 Deanna I will quote the film "Say Yes you skinny moron" and go see this with someone you love. 5 stars
11/12/03 john fun, love trip...light hearted ... mooshy 5 stars
11/11/03 Heather Perfect Christmas & date movie, charming British movie 5 stars
11/11/03 Tyler GOOD MOvie 5 stars
11/09/03 Max Ernst The greatest date flick ever. Went 2x, 2 diff girls, both: score. Love this film! 5 stars
11/06/03 Cameron Slick If you're going to be dragged to one chick flick this year, be dragged to Love Actually. 5 stars
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  07-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 27-Apr-2004



Directed by
  Richard Curtis

Written by
  Richard Curtis

  Hugh Grant
  Liam Neeson
  Alan Rickman
  Emma Thompson
  Laura Linney
  Keira Knightley

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