Sunday, December 23, 2012
Christmas Movies: Love Actually
The candidate: Love Actually
The premise: A whole bunch of lovey dovey London stories intertwine around the holidays. Some are gorgeously realised (Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman for the win, please), others induce in me a quiet rage (Colin Firth's thing, obviously; the one with Keira Knightley and the guy from Teachers; the British guy who goes overseas... I could go on.).
The verdict: I have mixed feelings about Love Actually. In theory I think it's not a particularly good movie: it's sappy, it's stupid, some of the plotlines are INSANELY inane. And yet. It's one of those movies I return to time and time again. Not in the same way I might return to, say, Annie Hall or The Princess Bride: those all-time favourite movies I can't stay away from because watching them feels like Coming Home. No, I come back to Love Actually in the same way that I continue to pick at the ice-cream cake currently sitting in my freezer. I'm not that into ice-cream. Or cake. Or ice-cream cake. But... it's there. It tastes pretty good. And... it does the job. That's how I feel about Love Actually. At its best it makes me cry (the scene where Emma Thompson opens her present to find a Joni Mitchell CD is... I mean, come on, I'm not made of stone) or smile despite myself in a this-is-so-fucking-stupid kind of a way (see: Hugh Grant's incredibly silly but damnit sort-of-charming plotline) and at its worst it is inane and patronising and very very irritating. I (re)watched it this year with one finger on the fast-forward button, cut out a good 40 minutes of shit and had myself a very merry time of it.
WARNING NOTE: Fast-forwarding through the shitty parts of this movie may enrage one's husband, who claims the Colin Firth storyline is "romantic" and darling. Also that I am dead inside.