One of the most prolific and successful British Film and television writers is Richard Curtis. He was one of the many Alternative comedy graduates from the early nineteen eighties, though not as a performer. His film Love, Actually was an ensemble piece merging together characters who either knew or had a vague link to each other and the stories that spun out from them. There was some trepidation about. There were some big hitting stars such as Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy gravitating through it with some cameos from actors such as Rowan Atkinson, who was enjoying the success of Mr Bean and his role as a bumbling Vicar in Four weddings and a funeral, Curtis other major film hit. Below this were some medium range but no less talented actors that would basically be showcasing their skills. This was Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keira Knightley. There was also an appearance by the young Thomas Sangster who was to work with Firth and Thompson again on Nanny Macfee. For the Americans there was the excellent Laura Linney and Billy Bob Thornton. The fear that was we were going to get Luvvy, Actually.
However all fears were dispelled as the it becomes clear that the links flow well it the London locations show that we are dealing with some affluent people but we can forgive that. It’s almost as if they live in some Cheltenham Serviced Apartments like the ones seen at https://www.q-let.co.uk/ there so well kept, even the ones where there are children.
Each segment deals with, unsurprisingly, love. Not the simple romantic kind, though there is that in there to. We see the elements of the human condition love examined and exposed in slightly simplistic terms but the film still gets its point across. There is the love of long term friends with Billy Mack and Joe. Brilliantly, Curtis has a pop at “Love is all around” the song from Four weddings recorded by Wet, Wet, Wet that stayed at number one for 15 weeks.
Unrequited love comes in the form of David for Juliet, new and exciting love that makes you forget everything and everyone else is the tales of Jamie and Aurelia plus David and Natalie (I always makes sure you get the Chocolate biscuits sir!) Misguided love from Harry for Mia at the expense of his wife Karen who shows forgiving love to take him back. There are two stories that show true love. Daniel has lost his wife and has decided to raise his stepson as his own. Hew reis true love to take on a child when you could walk away with your own grief. This part is slightly under played and he does get Claudia Schiffer out of it. The best in part, in this authors opinion is that of Laura Linneys character, she is in love with a work colleague who clearly feels the same. The do hook up but only to be interrupted by her mentally disabled brother. It is clear later that she has missed her chance with him and spends Christmas caring for her brother who hits her then hugs her and says he loves her. It is clearly the saddest and moving part of the film.