‘Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free…’
In the wake of Brexit and Trump and people having their heads chopped off all over the place, it is difficult to imagine that a film like Love Actually could possibly exist in this day and age. For a start, that bit when JoJen Stark runs past airport security at the end would no doubt have climaxed with him being gunned down after 20 yards before asylum seekers cut off his skin to drape on theirs, in a desperate attempt to look younger in order to gain entry to the UK…
And this is a shame. Because while there is a nagging doubt that Love Actually might be a bit shit, it tugs your heartstrings in all the right places and features loads of lovely British icons and also Martine McCutcheon at the absolute peak of her feminine powers. No prime minister in living memory is turning McCutcheon down at her best, not even Thatcher.
Elsewhere, we have Liam Neeson before Taken changed the way we view him forever (I have a certain set of skills, I will teach my stepson to play the drums and then pursue you to the airport). We have Andrew Lincoln sliming his way into Keira Knightley before he became the Walking Dead and she became a great actress. We have Colin Firth and Hugh Grant trying to out gentleman each other and Alan Rickman playing an evil monster for the second time in a Christmas film (shout out to Die Hard). That’s before we come to Bill Nighy and Rab C. Nesbitt drinking and whoring their way across the UK. And I haven’t even mentioned fucking Christmas yet! Bloody hell that was an exhausting film.
Joking aside though, I said earlier this kind of film just wouldn’t be made any more and that is true. Cynical audiences and tensions between races, sexes and everybody else mean that the world is a meaner and less loving place. As much as it is easy to mock and it’s a bit saccharine, I definitely enjoyed Love Actually, actually. One of the finer Christmas films.