Review: Love Actually

Love Actually | Richard Curtis, 2003

Great romantic comedies are rare this day and age. Most of the so-called romantic comedies today involve a gorgeous woman who can never seem to find the right guy or Matthew McCounaghey walking around shirtless. Of this decade, there are only two movies that I would call great romantic comedies. Love Actually is one of those movies.

Basically, Love Actually is a movie about love. There is the man whose wife cheated on him trying to get a fresh start, the man trying to deal with the death of his wife, the couple going thorough a rough patch, the kid dealing with his first love, the man who never thought he’d fall in love, the man who can never seem to find some one, and the man who is in love with his best friend’s wife.

All of these stories, although short, and carefully crafted. This is mostly in part to Richard Curtis’ great screenplay. His work as a director is just above average. He does what is necessary for the movie to progress and not seem bad, but the strongest part here is his writing. Even though each segment is formulaic, they work, although one might now how things are going to unfold, they still kept me waiting to see what would happen. Plus it features the single most romantic gesture I’ve ever seen in a film (the one pictured above).

The cast is also amazing. It is an ensemble piece, therefore there are many actors. Among them are Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Laura Linney. All of them, and the rest of the huge cast, are at the top of their games.

One other thing that is great here is the soundtrack. There are so many great songs playing throughout the movie. Then there is the orchestral music. I don’t know if all of it is Craig Armstrong’s doing, but the orchestral music is amazing.

Love Actually is one of the greatest movies of the decade. Richard Curtis’ script, combined with great performances from the very large cast, make this a truly memorable experience. If only all romantic comedies were like this…

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