November 25, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 48  

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Love? Not Actually

Love Actually
Starring: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth
Directed by: Richard Curtis

By Dahlia Ishak
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
HUGH GRANT IN A SUIT? YES PLEASE! The movie may not be the greatest, but female viewers can fall in Love with Hugh Grant.

There’s no avoiding the fact that at the core of all romantic comedies lies a concentration of pure evil so sinister even Satan himself won’t go near it.

It is this evil that causes certain single females who watch romances to feel depressed, ugly and desperate to find boyfriends of their very own. It is also this evil that blinds girls who do have boyfriends into believing their mates are scum for not professing their love to them in elaborate, movie-like ways.

That’s why if a movie can avoid success as a romantic comedy, it has actually triumphed tenfold, because it is no longer responsible for the misery of misguided humans everywhere. Therefore Love Actually, was a triumph — because as a romantic comedy it was a failure.

The movie is a mosaic of about 10 different plots, all coincidentally revolving around love, of course. Within each story the leading characters must deal with their own insecurities, fantasies and morals regarding this taboo subject. The characters range from old to young, married to single, English to Portuguese. They rank anywhere from the prime minister of Britain to the housemaid of a novelist to a washed up rock star. The message? Love can strike anybody; there are no limits to its range.

Though the movie tries to capture the emotions brought on by the raw vulnerability, mystery and beauty of being in love, it loses its stamina due to too many plots lines and characters. Certain plots end up being favored over others because of their believability and high levels of sap, leaving the audience patiently waiting for the crappy plots to disappear.

The movie, thankfully, is laid out as a series of frames jumping randomly from story-line to story-line. This means the less-liked plot lines never have to be endured for too long before the next refreshing change is granted.
Certain stories are so drawn out or blown up they lose the simplicity of what makes love stories enjoyable. There are a bare minimum of stories in this film actually reach out to the audience and make a connection. Yet although they are scarce, there is enough of them to make the movie watchable.

The cast is highlighted with many of today’s top British actors (Grant, McCutcheon and Firth), and of course, the highlight of any British movie is the sarcastic, brilliantly intelligent nature of British humour itself. Those Brits can crack anybody up, that’s a guarantee.

Also, if only for this, see the movie for the plot line that revolves around a washed-up rock star (Bill Nighy) or an Englishman trying to get laid in America. These hilarious bits and pieces, plus other random British humour is what keeps this movie glued together. Oh, and there’s nudity.

So, will audiences everywhere actually love Love Actually? It would be safe to assume the negative: that is, their relationship with the movie will work best as just being good friends.



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