Love Actually takes place in a strange and mythical land, where streets are lined with snow, lights don’t just glow, they twinkle..
…and everyone – even when sad – is actually happy, healthy and relatively wealthy: Richard Curtis’s England.
Not a movie for anyone with a cynical disposition, Love Actually is all about the healing and redemptive powers of love, expressed by a large ensemble cast of disparate characters.
These include Hugh Grant as a bumbling (does he ever play a role any different?) Prime Minister falling in love with the Downing Street cleaner (Martine McCutcheon) and Liam Neeson as a grieving widower, helping his young son take his first steps on the path to romance.
With the like of a pre-zombie fighting Andrew Lincoln, Martin Freeman, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley, this is a cast fit to burst with star power and, fortunately, enough gravitas to overcome a script that is so syrupy it should come with a health warning.
Rowan Atkinson’s cameo as an ever-so-patient department store worker makes it worth watching for his scenes alone. For Christmas fans, however, London has never looked more festive, so although it lays it on a bit thick, there really is no better of time of year for a substantial helping of schmaltz.
How Christmassy is it? It’s very much a staple of the festive schedules and given it’s probably the only point in the calendar you can get away with quite so much love and tenderness thrown at you with the velocity of a baseball bat to the head, then it’s just right for the Yuletide season.
Watch It When – When you are feeling at your most festive, as the feelgood ending will be just right.
Watch It With – Your loved one. This is a film for curling up on the sofa with the person closest to you.
Appropriate Snacks – Apart from the soppiness, this is quite a middle-class film, so head down to your nearest Waitrose and M&S and take your pick from their festive aisle.