Film: Love Actually
All I have to say is, this is a great movie. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. ~Vic
Written and directed by Richard Curtis (with six producers in tow), this is a Christmas romance romp with an all-star ensemble cast, mostly comprised of Brits. There are ten separate stories, that become interwoven in places…with one exception. This was Curtis’s Directorial Debut.
Filmed primarily in London, production was a collaboration between the US, the UK & France, with the first release on September 7, 2003, at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The movie opens with Prime Minister David talking about the state of the world.
 Rock and Roll legend Billy Mack records a Christmas version of the song Love Is All Around (by The Troggs). He thinks it’s crap but, he promotes it, anyway. He spends Christmas with his manager Joe and, you can see him on various TV sets throughout the movie.
 Best man Mark (a very young Andrew Lincoln sans Colt Python) is in love with Peter’s soon-to-be wife, Juliet, though they both believe that Mark dislikes her. He declares his love with cue cards on Christmas Eve.
 Jamie discovers his girlfriend is having an affair with his brother. He meets Aur�lia but, she doesn’t speak any English. He learns Portuguese to communicate his love for her.
 Harry & Karen are happily married and raising their children. Mia is Harry’s new secretary. He is drawn to her and nearly destroys his marriage over her.
 Karen’s brother is David, the Prime Minister. He finds himself attracted to staffer Natalie and having to deal with the U.S. President.
 Daniel, Karen’s friend, is still mourning the loss of his wife, Joanna. His step-son Sam is interested in an American classmate, also named Joanna. Sam shows his affection for Joanna at the airport (before she returns to the US). Daniel crosses paths with Carol and is interested.
 Sarah works for Harry and is in love with Karl. Karl is interested but, Sarah’s mentally ill brother Michael is an issue.
 Colin tells his friend Tony that he is traveling to America to try to woo some women there. He meets Stacey, Jeannie and Carol-Anne in Milwaukee and they invite him to stay with them. Roommate Harriet shows up, later.
 John (a young Martin Freeman…Arthur Dent/Bilbo Baggins) and Judy meet as nude stand-ins for a film that Tony is a production assistant for. Comfortable with each other simulating sex, they are shy with clothes on, later.
 Rufus is a jewelry salesman, wrapping Harry’s gift for Mia and, he assists Sam at the airport in getting to Joanna before her flight. He was, originally, to be a Christmas angel but, a script re-write removed that part of the story.
♦ Knowing about Billy Bob Thornton’s quite unusual fear of antique furniture, Hugh Grant would sometimes flash a piece of antique [furniture] (which is abundant in England) in front of Thornton just before the cameras rolled and watch him freak out in amusement (an issue that is part of the dialogue in Sling Blade).
♦ Simon Pegg was considered for the role of Rufus.
♦ For the role of her lovelorn character Karen, Emma Thompson has said that she drew on the immense heartbreak she experienced over former husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter with whom he had co-starred, and directed, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994). This extramarital affair ultimately led to their divorce in 1995.
♦ The airport greeting footage at the beginning and end of this movie is real. Writer/director Curtis had a team of cameramen film at Heathrow airport for a week and, whenever they saw something that would fit in, they asked the people involved for permission to use the footage.
♦ For her one-minute cameo, Claudia Schiffer received a reported �200,000 (roughly $300,000 U.S.).
Full Cast List
How We Made Love Actually (The Guardian/12-16-2013)
I’m so glad someone picked it. I very nearly did myself. I love the movie, it’s a Christmas tradition for me now to watch it and sometimes it comes out at other times too (first time I saw it actually was in a library showing during a thunderstrom on a very hot summer day!). I love the story lines and it was the first movie I’d seen like that with so many interwoven storylines… many have copied that since, but none as effectively.
I struggled with this category because there aren’t many holiday films, romance films or animation that I like. But, this one…I could watch over and over. And, I’m surprised someone hadn’t grabbed it before I did. I’m a big Alan Rickman fan, Liam Neeson fan and Emma Thompson fan.
Look at that, two movies in a row with Keira Knightley! Yay! I’ve seen it but it’s been years. Looks like a good one to watch around Christmas time. Good write up, Vic!
I was thinking that very same thing while I was writing this up. I like her a lot. She and Laura Linney were very, very busy. Keira was simultaneously filming this and the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Laura was filming this and Mystic River at the same time.
I can’t imagine making two movies at once.
I just noticed that Bill Nighy was in the same boat, so to speak. He was filming this and Underworld, too.
He was great in Underworld! That might have been the first time seeing him in anything for me.
It’s probably the same for me but, I didn’t know who he was at the time. I didn’t see Love Actually for a couple of years.
It took me several tries to understand what people love about this movie. I’d start to watch it, and it seemed slow and uninteresting to me, and I’d switch to something else. But then one time I finally made myself keep watching. Now it’s one of my go-to feel good movies. I enjoyed your descriptions of the characters, and all of that behind-the-scenes info I never knew. The chart of relationships is great!
Thanks! I had to chuckle at that chart. Someone went to a lot of trouble to track everyone.
The trivia is extensive. This would be a huge post if I covered all of it.
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Anything that Bill Nighy is in I have always liked. I will watch this near Christmas….I have to now. I need another Holiday movie…and this seems like it would be it.
I agree. Nighy is a scream in this.
I watched him in a scifi movie around a year ago I liked … “About Time”
I just read up on that. That sounds interesting.
It is…it’s not only a scifi show…
I love this movie!