Loved It, Actually
Since I’m not a huge fan of romantic comedies, I probably would not have been very interested in seeing Love Actually, if not for the fact that it was written and directed by the genius behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Notting Hill (which I only consented to see based on my appreciation of Four Weddings and which I was surprised to have enjoyed). But knowing this, I did actively seek it out at my neighborhood multiplex, and I was glad I did.
Love Actually is a fine film, and I recommend you see it. It does follow the format for a basic romantic comedy, but it does so with more sensitivity and depth than most movies in that genre. While much of the movie is laugh-out-loud funny, it also has quite a few heavy moments (think the poem read during the funeral scene in Four Weddings) and complications that remind you that relationships succeed or fail for a variety of reasons, few of which are ever generic or obvious. None of the story lines are simple boy gets girl or girl doesn’t get boy sort of situations.
Almost all of the many distinct, intertwined characters and story lines were crucial to the movie. Though I can think of one story line that could have been dropped without losing too much, only one character’s story really hurt the movie (it’s not one of the central story lines though, so my disappointment with it is proportional with the screen time it was allotted). In all, I think you’ll find that at least an hour and fifty minutes of the two-hour movie will have been time well spent.
Now I can’t wait for The Edge of Reason! Since Colin Firth played Bridget’s love interest in Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’m particularly interested in seeing how they handle the fact that Colin Firth, the actor, has such an important part in the sequel. He’s central to the funniest scene in the book.