I originally wrote this on January 7th, but since the boyfriend hadn’t seen it yet, I decided to hold off and post this around Valentine’s Day, purely because the subject fits better as well.
You know I must have enjoyed a movie so much that I had to jot my thoughts about it write away…despite possessing a cold and the fact I stare at a computer screen for about 9 hours a day for my day job…because I didn’t want to let any of my feelings or thoughts that are swirling around in my head to disappear with a good night’s sleep.
I have rented the movie Love Actually at least three times (twice from those ancient ruins called Blockbuster, and once from the local library), and every single time it was dropped off in the cold, metal return box with a loud clang and a sigh of disappointment that I once again had not made the time to watch this movie. This one movie I had heard good things about, and just felt like I should watch it.
Well tonight, I made time. Tissues nearby, iPod charged, and looking to relax, I finally pulled the movie from my Netflix cue and pressed the little triangle to play it. Finally. After all these years, I couldn’t help but be nervous and pray that I would like it.
I didn’t just like it. I loved it…actually.
SPOILERS (and cheesyness) AHEAD
From the opening shots of people being greeted by loved ones in the airport with the smooth sounds of Hugh Grant doing a voice over that led a transition by a horribly wonderful cover by a rock has been-I was enthralled. Entranced. Enticed. And couldn’t look away.
First off, it’s clear to see how this movie has heavily impacted our culture. From the flash mob at Peter and Juliet’s wedding to the flash cards Mark uses to express his true feelings like the many videos which now flood Youtube-this movie has inspired many things present in our pop culture today.
Plus it features Hugh Grant shaking those wonderful hips to ’80s music in a similar manner that might make you go “Risky Business?” but then you shake your head because his version is more fun and classier (in my humble opinion).
The film also features Bill Nighy as a flamboyant, rough around the edges, rock has-been trying to make a come-back by recovering an old love song as a Christmas song, Alan Rickman as a sassy boss with a wandering eye, Emma Thompson (splendid, as always) as his tough Joni-Mitchell listening wife) Hugh Grant as the new Prime Minister, Colin Firth as a broken-hearted writer, Liam Neeson as a widower with a precociously adorable step-son, Rowan Atkinson as a hilariously obnoxious jewelry clerk, Martin Freeman as an adorable, chatty and shy body double, Laura Linney as a protective sister with a huge office crush, Keira Knightley playing a blushing bride, and many many many more (I almost expected to see Benedict Cumberbatch and his cheekbones to show up, but alas, it didn’t happen)
Is this movie cheesy? 100% YES IT IS. Is this movie perfect? OH GOODNESS NO (No one would dare call Budweiser the “king of beers” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin-especially if they were from out of town. Also, that didn’t look anything like the Milwaukee airport. To be fair, Brits might have been getting us back for all the terrible things we get wrong about their country. Sorry about that) So if it’s cheesy, and not perfect…what is good about it?
Maybe it’s the hormones, or the fact that had I watched this film when I had initally rented it (or the second, or third time) maybe I wouldn’t appreciate it for what it is. Maybe I would have rolled my eyes and turned it off. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to follow the plot line as well as I did, so I’d get frustrated and would have turned it off.
Bottom line, by the time this movie was over, I was tearing up.
It’s sappy, it’s romantic, it’s cheesy and over the top cute and gut wrenchingly nauseating even at points, but it’s about love. And love sometimes is sappy. Sometimes it’s romantic. Sometimes it’s over the top cute and nauseating at points-but that’s love.
I also love that the movie wasn’t JUST about those things. It’s about older love, real love, tired love, confused love, young love,
lost love, new love, unrequited love, lust-mistaken-for-love, sibling love, family love,
spouse love, friend love, guy love, innocent love, guilty love, respectful love, money love, love of love-the list goes on. And THAT is what drew me in.
(Ok…this helped….a bit…too)
The story struck a chord with me. I’ve often wondered about individuals when I myself am entering or leaving an airport, bus line, train, or crowded mall. Maybe I’m the only one that looks at a person for about five seconds, and thinks to themselves, “I wonder who you are? Are you scurrying away to see family? Did your heart just get broken, and that’s why you are crying in this public place? Is your flight delayed, and is someone you love dying at the halted destination?”
I also have restored my faith in airports being romantic locations for big, epic, declarations of love (despite the added security nowadays and that they are breeding grounds for illness, sickness, bacteria and grumpy travelers), but I digress 😉
So, this Valentine’s Day (one of the biggest Hallmark holidays of the year, as a friend would say) ignore the cheese. Feel free to roll eyes. Refuse to take part.
But remember to say ‘I love you,’ to everyone you care about. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day. But because you do…and should say it every chance you get.