WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Itís Christmastime in the U.K. and all of the best (and best-looking) British actors and actresses join Richard Curtis (writer of FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and NOTTING HILL) in a love-fest extraordinaire. Whether itís the love between siblings, family members or romantic and lovesick fools, this film explores all the different pains and pleasures of love during the season where itís sometimes the hardest to show itÖ
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This film absolutely oozes love. If I werenít such a romantic sap, I probably would have puked about a quarter of the way in. But instead, the film worked as well as it had when I first saw it in the cinema last holiday season-- even better, in fact. Normally, Iíd suggest for those who are pessimists when it comes to matters of the heart to avoid this film, but I suppose that would probably be the worst kind of advice to give. For those of you who donít believe that love, in all its forms, is the most powerful thing on earth than this is probably what you should rent this weekend and for the several few that follow. Sure, itís overblown and exaggerated at times, but at the risk of sounding like a total jackass, so is love sometimes! Thatís what makes it and this movie...fun. The film shows just as many heartbreaks as it does love connections and at the core of it all is the essential idea that without love, even for a moment, Christmas, life, work, everything, actually...wouldnít be worth all that much. Sounds pretty goddamned optimistic, doesnít it? Well, itís hard not to feel that way after having just watched this movie, trust meÖ
And if you werenít spoiled enough by all the amour being thrown around in this film, youíll also be treated to the witty and brilliant dialogue by writer/director, Richard Curtis; whoís quickly become one of the top writers of todayís best romantic comedies. It also helps having what is probably the best cast ever assembled: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley are just a few of the recognizable faces youíll see. But itís Bill Nighyís aging rock star that really steals the show here. Heís easily the funniest character in the movie, with the best scenes and the best dialogue. Curtis also does an incredible job at keeping the interest level up for the dozen or so storylines that interweave throughout the film. The festive and love-riddled songs that accompany all these goings-on will certainly help boost your heart up all the more. So if you want genuine, intelligent laughs, sweet and swinginí songs and an overwhelming feeling of what the meaning of Christmas and love really is....donít even think twice about seeing LOVE ACTUALLY. Otherwise, go rent a copy of ENOUGH and call it a lifeÖ
Audio Commentary by Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Thomas Sangster and Director Richard Curtis: Hugh shows up about 4 minutes late for the recording, but all is well once he does. That said, I wouldíve preferred the little kid (Sangster) wasn't on the track since it wouldíve given the rest of the boys a little more leeway to curse and be themselves. Either way, itís a solid commentary track which is well worth the listen.
Deleted Scenes with Introductions by Richard Curtis: Curtis recounts how the original cut was about 3 hours and 30 minutes so expect quite a few deleted scenes here. The entire thing lasts a little over 30 minutes. One of the first deleted scenes is a must-see, with Neeson trying to erase x-rated pop-ups from his laptop. Classic!!
The Music of Love Actually with introductions by Richard Curtis: Curtis goes through a few of the songs he chose for the filmís soundtrack and explains the reasons why he picked them for their respective scenes.
You also get a Kelly Clarkson Video: The Trouble With Love Is and DVD-ROM features.
This is a great buy because not only is it a wonderful Christmas movie that you can watch every holiday season, but itís also another touching and very funny Richard Curtis romantic comedy. A rental for some of you skeptics out there, otherwise, dish out for this DVD, you wonít be disappointed.