"A romantic comedy swollen to the length of an Oscar-trawling epic – nearly two and a quarter hours of cheekiness, diffidence and high-tone smirking." - New York Times
"A toasty, star-packed ensemble comedy... [That's] going to make a lot of holiday romantics feel very, very good; watching it." - Entertainment Weekly
"The movie's only flaw is also a virtue: It's jammed with characters, stories, warmth and laughs, until at times Curtis seems to be working from a checklist of obligatory movie love situations and doesn't want to leave anything out [...] It feels a little like a gourmet meal that turns into a hot-dog eating contest." - Roger Ebert
How can Love Actually, a movie that begins with a voiceover telling us that messages left by passengers on 9/11 were all messages of love, itself be so beloved? At what point does sap go from detrimental to virtuous? The "hyperlink film" intoning that "we are all connected" is nothing if not a mix of overt sentiment and sincerity, and a star-studded cast including Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney and Emma Thompson is more than adequately equipped to bring that same sincerity to a "we are all connected" rom-com. With a nearly 2.5 hour run-time, nine separate stories and the cheesiest concept you can imagine, you'll never want to admit that this is a tearjerker, but it is.
Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are David (Hugh Grant), the handsome newly elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon), Sarah (Laura Linney), a graphic designer whose devotion to her mentally ill brother complicates her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), a married man tempted by his attractive new secretary.
Whether you love it sincerely, love it ironically, or hate it but just can't look away, we welcome you to join us. Specialty peppermint cocktails as sweet and decadent as the movie itself will be in ample supply!
Dir. Richard Curtis. 2003. 136 min.