and is still the best Christmas film!
Twenty years after the release of what I believe to be the best Christmas film of all time, now more than ever, it is crucial to remember that love really is all around. From the bitter rage invoked by Alan Rickman’s adulterous character to the ultimate portrayal of a mother’s love by Emma Thompson. From the comedic genius of Billy Mack to the hilarious naivety of Colin Frissell. From the heart-warming bond between stepfather and stepson so beautifully captured by Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, to Laura Linney’s heart-breaking sacrifice of romance for her brother. Love Actually truly showcases the very best of British screenwriting and acting.
It is nearly impossible to pick a favourite story, and even more difficult to pick a favourite scene from such an iconic film. Of course, the infamous cards on the doorstep scene is what most of us immediately think of when we think about Love Actually, but there are so many others that it would simply be rude not to acknowledge. Colin Firth diving into an eel-infested pond, a paper mâché octopus sitting between Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon, and lest we forget Rowan Atkinson’s pain-staking gift-wrapping ordeal. Love Actually truly is just one iconic scene after another.
I could write books on the brilliancy of Richard Curtis’ filmmaking. Love Actually isn’t even my favourite of his films (you really have to watch About Time if you haven’t already). His ability to capture the human experience in art, is unmatched. While some people might cringe at the thought of having to watch a two hour film dedicated entirely to love in all of its weird and wonderful forms, that is personally one of my favourite things about Love Actually. Curtis intertwines stories of joy, love, grief and loss, perfectly encapsulating the beauty and pain of being human. Twenty years after its original release, Love Actually has proven its existence beyond temporal boundaries. Whilst beautifully highlighting the uniqueness and individuality of every character, Curtis’ film reminds us that we are all connected by forces of love (and the joy of seeing Ant and Dec making a cameo in a Christmas classic).
In a time when the world feels particularly heavy, I think we would all be grateful for a Prime Minister who dances round Number 10 to Girls Aloud. In fact, Love Actually is a reminder that we should all be shamelessly dancing to girl band hits far more often. More seriously, Love Actually is also a welcome reminder to us all, to shower the people around us, and equally importantly, ourselves, with as much love as we can possibly muster.
Personally, I think no Christmas Eve is complete without watching Love Actually, and reminding my family, without fail, every year, that Keira Knightley was only wearing a beret because she had a pimple they wanted to hide during filming. Love Actually, for me, and so many others, is so much more than another film in the endless catalogue of cringey Christmas romcoms. It is the ultimate source of Christmas cosiness, warmth and nostalgia. Even if you are a firm hater of Christmas films, I think everyone should be watching Love Actually this Christmas. If for no other reason… just because its Christmas (and at Christmas you watch Love Actually).
Watch *that* infamous cards- on-the-doorstep scene here: