Love Actually


(out of 5)

The marvelous screenwriting of Richard Curtis (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary) reaches new heights in this genuinely memorable and enjoyable romantic comedy-drama. Not as uproariously funny as the aforementioned films, this wonderful entertainment shows slices of the love lives of various Londoners, from way up at the Prime Minister () to writers, actors, office employees and even a grade-schooler. Grant is finding himself undeniably attracted to one of his Parliamentary assistants (), while his sister () is dealing with marital bliss to a man () whose secretary seems to fancy him quite a lot. Meanwhile, another girl at Rickman’s office () has had the hots for a co-worker () and hasn’t been able to do anything about it.   is terrific as a writer who escapes a failed love affair by vacationing in the south of France and befriending his non-English speaking Portuguese housekeeper, while offers some of the film’s warmest moments as a depressed widower who is bent on convincing his young stepson to pursue the girl of his dreams. There are many more stories going on here, and while it sometimes feels as if Curtis bites off more than he can chew, or at least would have done better to put his script in the hands of a more experienced director, there’s no denying that there are some points in this film where he really captures the precarious and terrifying experience of romance. Look for the scene when Thompson stands alone in her bedroom listening to Joni Mitchell while trying to keep it together—it’s a standout.

Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, DNA Films

United Kingdom/USA, 2003

Directed by

Screenplay by Richard Curtis

Cinematography by

Produced by , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Golden Globe Awards 2003

Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2003.   

Toronto International Film Festival 2003

Washington Film Critics Awards 2003.

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