Love Actually - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Love Actually Reviews

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May 7, 2018
Just love it! One of my favourites.Great script, great humour.
May 4, 2018
This is a pretty damn good film. Yes it's a romcom, but this comes close to being the best example of its genre.
½ April 29, 2018
One of my favourite love movies: the emotions explored are realistic, the characters are diverse and relatable, it is neither a fairy tale nor a watery drama, totally watchable by male audience.
April 26, 2018
This movie should really be titled Love Possibly. This title would resonate better with the reactions of the viewer on conclusion of the film. Love Actually details the love and lust lives of its 9 protagonists and their relationships, and concludes with some finding love, while others don't, making it a rather realistic romantic comedy. This realistic element is also highlighted by the movie`s wide array of ages, exploring relationships spanning from a young child to a widowed husband, but, as it is rated R, its audience is rather limited. Love Actually successfully manages to portray the reality of life where not all are necessarily happy at the end of the day with their respective romantic love lives; but they do end up happy with the totality of the love that surrounds them: the relationships with their family, friends and love interests.
But, in dealing with 9 characters and ensuring that each star has adequate time on film, this plot becomes too much. The overload of ideas leads to the film's demise. There is not enough time spent to develop the meaning and significance of each relationship. As a result, the movie bores the viewer by the halfway point and losses the romantic element of the comedy, as there is no time for any couple to develop it's relationship.
If Love Actually was a documentary it would be incredible. With a star-studded cast and a highly realistic plot it holds incredible documentary potential. But it is not. As a movie it is realistic, meaning the viewer can easily relate their life to it. Very few however, go to the theatre for reality unless it is a documentary.
The realistic aspect of the movie translates into relatable characters. This is promising, but, through the confusing overlay of getting 9 different stories into a 2 hour time limit, only the very basic elements of these stories are given time to be relayed. This basic portrayal makes it very simple and resultingly boring to watch and very difficult to focus on any one character. Furthermore, the editing of the movie results in flitting back and forth among the various plot lines. It does not spend much time on each character, rather splicing together short vignettes. This editing technique merely complicates and confuses the viewer. The resulting film seems like a bunch of boring stories that got into a massive car crash, unfortunately without even an epic soundtrack to accompany the catastrophe.
These nine different characters and their relationships - so technically 18 different characters - makes the film very difficult to follow, but leaves enough of a taste to illustrate the potential it holds. With such a broad age range Love Actually is different, but not much different than one`s life which relates back to my previous point regarding the fact that nobody goes to the cinemas to watch their own life on the big screen.
Fitting into the sub-genre of rom-coms that detail numerous relationships around holidays, Love Actually takes on a similar motif to the films like Valentine's Day, and New Year's Eve, but it deviates in that not all of its protagonists are in a loving embrace by the film's end. Also, more importantly, in the other movies, the stories of the various characters are connected, yielding a particular type of product that is catchy due to the interesting situations they face and the common questions they grapple with about their particular holidays. Love Actually however, has no such unique trait, nor does it really pose the same specific interesting questions that society has in regard to something particular, because it does not have these connecting elements.
The way Love Actually deals with love is through vague overtly general questions like what is love or what should one give up for love. It could even be argued the film ventures into the question of: at what cost is love worth it? It seems to maximize satisfaction rather than address these questions directly. For, by the conclusion of Love Actually everyone seems quite satisfied even though they may not have a significant other to love. The way everyone is satisfied by the end of the movie seems to state that although not all of one's desires are fulfilled they can still love their life and all it presents them - a rather basic motif. This manifests for some as the realization that their love is restricted to their ailing brother or existing family and for others it is the realization that love really does exist and sex is not just confined to the lust filled flings life throws at them. But in my favorite twist, the film states that for some, love manifests in the affirmation that your first crush likes you back. But again, these questions would have been better served if there was more time to understand them and the implications of the protagonists decisions.
The only saving grace of the movie is the quality of the acting. One can only imagine how much worse a film it would be without these quality actors. It can be argued that due to the poor film splicing and editing, the non-existent soundtrack, lack of any significant cultural queries or resonance, and very dry nature of the story line, the only actual feature worthy element of this film is the actors themselves. The slightest indication about the plot's direction that these actors are able to reveal in their relatively short time on screen is truly impressive. The actors really roll with what they are given and to that I applaud them, but there is only so much magic they can work with a terrible script. The mundane dialogue forces them to act through their bodies rather than their words which really complicates their task as an actor.
While the reality is there as everyone does not end up in a loving relationship at the end of the day, "Love Possibly" might have been a more fitting name. Not only does the possibly invoke uncertainty similar to that evoked by the movie on the viewer, but, it also removes certainty from the title - just like the movie removes the romance, an aspect that is generally guaranteed in a rom-com. The potential for romance is definitely there and there are the classic environments one would expect of a Christmas film, but due to the many different stories the film needs to develop, the romance never shows as time is always seemingly cut short.
In essence, if you are an individual with extreme amounts of time on you hand and enjoy watching mediocre quality films, Love Actually is the movie for you. Otherwise, I would seriously urge you to pick one of these actors and watch one of their acclaimed works.
½ April 26, 2018
Love Actually is one of the few ensemble cast, multiple storyline films that seems to have pervaded popular culture in recent years that actually--pardon the pun--works. Unlike Valentine's Day or New Years Eve (just to name a few), Love Actually manages to create a cohesive film with an all-star cast and just enough story lines for watchers to be invested in each characters hardships and happiness. Perhaps the greatest success that Love Actually can boast is the expert use of the multiple storyline structure to bring more than one kind of relationship to the forefront of this romantic comedy. Liam Neeson portrays a recently widowed stepdad, coming to terms with the loss of his wife while learning to care for his love-lorn stepson; Laura Linney plays a lonely ex-pat, unable to invest in her own romantic life because her responsibilities to her mentally ill brother; Bill Nighy demonstrates the love a washed up rockstar has for his manager and his constant and only companion throughout his career; Andrew Lincoln, who plays Mark, shows us the bittersweet side of an unrequited love with his best friend's wife. All these relationships--father to son, sister to brother, friend to friend, and lover to almost lover--come together to create a beautiful collage of varying human relationships. Of course more typical love interested are also included with Colin Firth's cross-cultural relationship with his portuguese employee or Prime Minister Hugh Grant's love for a member of his household staff. However, the inclusion of these varying types of love all echo the very opening lines of this movie, that "love actually is all around" in the form of "fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends [and] old friends". Love Actually is truly a tribute to the human experience, as it honors all the different forms that love comes in.
It's easy to categorize Love Actually as an overdone, overly sugary and cliched film, but this would ignore all the complications that the movie tackles. The heartbreak, sadness, unrequitedness, and grief that inevitably come with loving--with being so invested in another human--are not only included, but heavily considered through out this film. Emma Thompson, a dedicated friend and devoted mother and wife, discover that her husband, Alan Rickman, has gifted another woman jewelry for Christmas. The scene that ensues is impossible to forget as she stands in the bedroom she shares with said husband, her children and husband just on the other side of the wall. The scene is so touching and so evocative because her dilemma is so clear; she's been betrayed but as she stands in the home that she's built with her husband, with the family they share together, she cannot let go of their life together. She still loves and it's because she loves that she was able to be so broken. Laura Linney's character, mentioned above, is perhaps an even sadder tale. She sacrifices her love for her coworker Carl, for the love and wellbeing of her mentally ill brother. Love Actually is full of moments, like Laura's stuggle between her own interest and her brothers, or Emma Thompson disillusionment with her marriage, that grapple with real problems, real emotions and real struggles. Death, infidelity, mental illness, sexual harassment in the workplace and unrequited love are all serious issues dealt with in Love Actually that one would not typically associate with a movie that markets itself as "the ultimate romantic comedy". However, despite these darker issues, a talented cast manages to create comedic moments even in the face of more serious issues. Of course, there also moments purely created for comedic effect, seemlessly woven in as a result of the multiple storyline structure. Rowan Atkinson's cameo as a store clerk allows for a lighthearted break from heavier material while the sex-driven Colin's search for love in America also provides comedic moments.
So many ensemble cast films fall flat in their execution despite being littered with classic tropes and ample star power. Love Actually avoids this failing by making use of a talented cast, evocative emotional scenes, comedic relief and the mulitple story line structure that highlights all the kinds of love that exist.
April 16, 2018
Love Actually, directed by Richard Curtis, was released in 2003 and grossed over $247 million worldwide. The film is unique in its depiction of not one, but nine love stories, all of which are intertwined. Each story concentrates on a challenge that serves as an obstacle in characters forming or maintaining a relationship. With a cast that includes some of the UK's most loved actors, including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Keira Knightly, Love Actually, shows its audiences how love is indefinable and boundless.

Some may argue over which storyline is the most charming, yet I believe that it is culmination of all nine, and the connections between them, that is the most enticing aspect of the film. Love Actually could be compared to other romantic comedies such as Valentine's Day, in which the audience follows nine love stories on Valentine's Day. However, Valentine's Day is in no way comparable to Love Actually in regard to plot, characters, and overall aesthetic. Love Actually is known in part for being a heart-warming holiday romantic comedy, in part for some of its specific scenes. Most notably, the notecard scene, when Andrew Lincoln's character proclaims his love for his best friend's wife, played by Keira Knightly. What may initially seem like an average romantic comedy will quickly prove you wrong in how passionate each and every character is, in addition to the multitude of comedic relief.

Love Actually is unlike any other romantic comedy in how it portrays the many faces of love, ranging from parent and child to brother and sister to boss and his secretary and to Prime Minister and his assistant. Love Actually effortlessly binds these nine stories together without neglecting a single one, all the while developing and complicating each situation. I would label Love Actually as, quite possibly, the best romantic comedy of all time, and furthermore, my favorite film of all time. This film is essential in the world of film and romantic comedies in particular. If you are looking for a film to sweep you off your feet and remind you that love is all around you, look no further.
March 31, 2018
Definitely my favorite Christmas movie.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2018
quite overcooked with characters but the message is simple and funny at times. The ensemble cast are very good with Hugh Grant stealing the show as per normal. The biggest issue with the film is the over the top finale of having people getting together, crowds cheering and all that cliché riddled romantic comedy pitfalls. The film lacks depth to be anything more than a time passer, which is a shame considering the cast. The film is overstuffed with everything and it robs the film of having meaningful characters. 15-03-2018.
January 11, 2018
I hate to do this to Liam and Emma, but this movie is utterly ridiculous. How this is considered a romance is beyond me. An adorable actress, thin by today's hefty population, is considered a "fat ass." A man in love with his best friend's wife professing his love with signs while the friend is cluelessly watching television? Not romantic. A co-dependent woman approaching middle age choosing a violent, institutionalized brother's 24/7 demands over a man she's supposedly been in love with for years? That's just a few of the stories in this tangled mess of a film. I thought for years British sense of humor was way off because of this movie.
January 7, 2018
This movie advertises itself as "The Ultimate Romantic Comedy," and...yeah that's probably fair, for better and for worse. It crams in enough storylines, characters, and cliches to cover at least 10 different movies on their own, juggling around multiple plots that sometimes have connections to each other and other times have only the connection of one person saying hi to another one. By all accounts, I should probably hate this movie. It has so many things I hate in movies, especially romantic comedies. Cliched, overstuffed, almost aggressively sappy, creepy romantic gestures, and happy endings that fall apart when you think about the actual repercussions. However, despite all odds, it ended up charming me. I would see the cheesy/creepy/stupid thing happen, and logically I would hate it, but it would be done in such a way that I didn't mind. Maybe it's the directing, maybe it's the writing, maybe it's the immensely likable cast, I don't know but for whatever reason it worked for me in a way where most other comedies would fail. I can't call it perfect, because the flaws are still there, but it's goddamn impressive that they don't really end up mattering. It's just too damn sweet and charming, I liked it.
January 5, 2018
Delightful romantic comedy that is excellent for the most part but suffers from too many characters & subplots. The cast is uniformly excellent, the highlights being Hugh Grant as a befuddled new Prime Minister & Emma Thompson as a wife who discovers her husband is having an affair (her breakdown scene is one of the highlights of her distinguished career). The scene stealer, though, is Bill Nighy as an aging rocker dealing with having produced a cheesy Christmas song & deciding not to hide how he feels about it. Behind the camera, writer/director Richard Curtis crafts a fun 'romantic comedy epic', intertwining the various stories in natural ways while exploring everything from first crushes to adultery. Unfortunately, he has too many characters & plots that drags the film down a bit. Two in particular, one involving a Brit traveling to the United States to hook up with American girls, while another involving body doubles for a sex scene in a film, could have easily been cut. Plus, the material should have been toned down to PG-13, considering a main story is a young boy declaring his love to his first crush. Overall, still a fun, romantic movie and a great addition to the holiday film rotation.
½ January 2, 2018
A christmas classic. Feel good film with quite a few laughs and a superb cast.
½ January 1, 2018
This movie is boring and has way too much shit going on.
December 28, 2017
Humorously Well Played, Love Actually Benefies From Its Charming Cast, Both Human and Cartoonish Characters Development and Cheesy Dialogue
December 27, 2017
Fun film to watch with different stories.
½ December 26, 2017
It was extremely long, with wildly unrelated stories. You have to put up with the whole movie until they eventually come together somehow. It was just bad and uncomfortably long with too many sex scenes. And the acting was pretty corny most of the time.
December 25, 2017
Love Actually' isn't all that great, actually. Really cheesy and very predicable of how certain scenes are gonna turn play out. However, I guess that's the charm of it all, because I would consider this one of my guilty pleasures.

The film really captures the spirit of Christmas and Bill Nighy was fun to watch. Nighy has the best story in the movie, in my opinion. Andrew Lincoln, on the other hand, is creepy as hell in this movie. Even Lincoln himself admitted it.

Putting aside the creepiness, it's still the most Christmas of all Christmas movies you'll find.
December 25, 2017
I watch this every Christmas, and love it more every year. Obviously from reviews, not for just anyone or everyone. It has a somewhat different approach to romantic comedy. Granted, it's not Shakespeare, but I find it highly entertaining. For the tender of heart, I recommend it.
December 24, 2017
It's been nearly a decade and half since this film came out and for the life of me I still can't understand what people see in it.
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