"Who do you
have to screw around here to get a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit?"
Billy Mack (Nighy) says it is all round. Daniel (Neeson) has
tragically lost it but is determined to help his stepson find it. Colin
(Marshall) thinks he has to go to America to find it. Mark (Lincoln) knows
it is unrequited. Peter (Ejiofor) and Juliet (Knightley) are joined by it.
John (Freeman) and Judy (Page) are acting it. Sarah (Linney) longs for it.
Harry (Rickman) is tempted by it. Karen (Thompson) thinks she is going to
lose it. Jamie (Firth) runs away from it. David (Grant) thinks as Prime
Minster, it never really mixes with politics. What is it? Love, actually.
The one thing the British film industry does really well is
the romantic comedy and Love Actually is no exception.
If you liked Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill or
Bridget Jones's Diary, this is a movie that you won't want to miss. The
man who wrote all these hits, Richard Curtis makes his directorial debut
and makes it easy for himself by sticking to a genre in which he excels.
On paper this can be seen as the ultimate British Rom-Com.
A superstar UK cast, with a splattering of Americans for good measure, come
together to bring us nine interweaving stories about every aspect of love.
It covers all facets of the strongest emotion from young, first time infatuation
and new, passionate lust to loss, insecurity and pining from a far. The
most primal of connections between two human beings is explored in a touching,
emotional and extremely funny way.
Curtis cleverly interweaves the stories, jumping from one
emotion to another. One moment of sadness or pain is relieved by a moment
of farce or pure laugher. While each story may have, at the most, only fifteen
minutes of screen time, you are drawn into each of them because of the endearing
characters and the familiarity of the situation. You have either been through
the same thing or know someone who has had that experience.
The enduring quality of the stories is brought to life by
the magnificent cast. The best of British inject passion and well, love
into their roles making the characters very believable. Hugh Grant is at
his Rom-Com best. He seems to come alive when given a Richard Curtis script
and this role is no exception. Alan Rickman, Emma Thomas and Liam Neeson
exude class as they have the most difficult and challenging stories to contend
with. The lovely Martine McCutcheon shows she has a gift for comedy. Keira
Knightley looks as beautiful as ever and you can't help but sympathise with
Andrew Lincoln's character's predictament. Colin Firth is as good as ever
and Bill Nighy's aging rock star assault on the Christmas number one is
hilarious. Martin Freeman and Joanna Page almost steal the show with their
outrageously funny job as movie stand-ins and Kris Marshall lives the dream
as he travels to America.
Richard Curtis's script is a real winner. Cleverly entwining
comedy and sadness that will have you feeling a cornucopia of emotions as
the movie bounces from tears to laugher as the stories unfold. You can't
help but like this crowd-pleasing film, which even has the time to make
fun of the Americans by saying all the girls love a British accent and the
US President, played nicely by Billy Bob Thornton, is a bully and abit of
Love Actually is not just a great date movie, having just
enough mush for the ladies and laugh-out-loud funny bits for the men, but
also a great film for anyone. It might have slightly too many stories going
on at once but they are all easy to follow and only one or two are not nicely
resolved. If you can't find at lease one thing to enjoy in this movie then
your life must be devoid of the one thing the movie is trying to impart,
Love is all around, actually.
Presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is of a very good standard, as you would expect
from a modern movie. There does seem to be some slight blurring at times
during excessive motion scenes but other than that the picture is crystal
clear. The soundtrack is also of a high standard and really emphasises the
character dialogue, which you really need in a comedic movie.
Audio Commentary from Writer/Director Richard Curtis and
stars Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy and Thomas Sangster
This very funny commentary is filled with interesting facts and comic anecdotes
from the filming of the movie. Richard Curtis talks about the casting, writing
the stories and the influences behind them, which includes Jim Henson's
funeral. Hugh Grant, who is late for the recording of the commentary, cracks
jokes at his own expense throughout the entire film with the "clip that
they will play when he dies" been a highlight. Bill Nighy just hates watching
himself and along with Thomas Sangster, who plays Liam Neeson's stepson
Sam in the movie, hasn't even seen the film before. It is also very funny
when they realise that Thomas actually isn't old enough to be watching movie
but they continue to swear in front of him anyway.
Deleted Scenes (40.03 mins)
With explanations for their removal from the final but by writer/director
Richard Curtis, some of these ten deleted scenes could have been so easily
but into a longer DVD version of the movie. The extended Liam Neeson story
is a gem and the Rocking Horse conversation is priceless with both been
a must watch for fans. Curtis actually remarks that his original cut was
3 hours 30 minutes, so there are a lot more deleted scenes that we don't
see here. Could a Directors cut on it's way?
The Story Tellers (9.59 mins)
Richard Curtis and producer Duncan Kenworthy introduce the main characters
and their stories. Curtis talks about his influences behind each tale and
then the actors who play the characters talk about making the film. This
is quite an interesting featurette but not all of the nine stories are covered,
just the ones with the big name actors.
Music Actually - Music Highlights
Richard Curtis introduces songs by Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell, Olivia Olson,
Craig Armstrong and The Beach Boys and gives the reasons why he used them
in the film. After the introduction you get to watch the scene the song
was used in.
Billy Mack - Christmas is All Around: Music Video (4.10
Your chance to watch the full music video for Billy Mack's Christmas single
which you may have spotted throughout the movie. Trailers A trailer for
the Oxfam Big Noise appeal and the upcoming Working Title movie "Thunderbirds"
is also included.
While the commentary track is a treat, the rest of the bonus
features are abit of a let down. This makes you think that a better version
maybe released down the line, especially with Richard Curtis mentioning
that his original cut was 3 ½ hours and we only have 40 mins of deleted
scenes when the final cut was just over 2 hours. Still the transfer is very
good and this is still an exceptional romantic comedy, making it well worth
a buy or rent.
Weddings and a Funeral
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