Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everything I Know in Life I Learned from the Movies: Love Actually


Don't tell me this is sappy.

Don't tell me that romance is dead.

Don't tell me that love can't break your heart.

I know better.

I saw this movie 10 years ago when it first came out.  At that time, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman,  Emma Thompson  and Colin Firth were the stars.  Since then, Keira Knightly, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman and Laura Linney have emerged as major stars as well.

I watch this once a year without fail.  It makes me about as happy as a movie can make me and it makes me about as sad as a movie can make me.

Settle in, we're about to learn some life lessons about love, actually...

Love can break your heart through death... 

Oh My God.   I can still barely get through the funeral of Liam Neeson's onscreen wife without wailing, since every time I watch I cannot help but think of him losing his own lovely wife Natasha Richardson.  I have often wondered if he can even stand to watch this movie, but I wouldn't have the nerve to ask for fear of the answer.  When he meets Claudia Schiffer in the end you are so happy because he is so sad.


Love can break your heart if it is unrequited:

Oh Andrew Lincoln, do NOT waste your love on that skinny wretch Kiera - she's just going to stay with soon-to-be-Oscar-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor anyway.

No, you need an older woman, one with a little fat on her, one that will take care of you and isn't afraid of the zombies you're going to run into later on...

You can't tell, but the hand is covering the word WENDY

Love can happen regardless of age

When I was 14 years old I was wooed by a country boy who would just "show up" every time there was a waltz at the school dance.  It was very romantic and I loved him dearly, as you can only love someone when you are 14 years old and you hole yourself up in your bedroom listening to England Dan and John Ford Coley for hours at a time.  So I am sympathetic to Sam's shenanigans in this movie and I salute his step-dad (Liam) who knows enough not to rain on his parade.. Sam has one of the most romantic airport scenes ever..



Love can break your heart when one of you falls out of love..

You want to see acting?  Watch Emma Thompson hold it together for the Christmas concert while Joni Mitchell plays in the background (and to my English friends - school concerts on Christmas Eve????).  Emma and Alan break your heart for different reasons...This is every unhappy marriage writ large...



Love Can Give you Hope:

Sure, you're a loser in England, but turn that frown upside down and make your way to the Midwest with that British accent, for the American dames do love an accent....



Love Can be Familial:

We so want Sarah to end up with Karl, but she is married to the responsibility of her mentally ill brother.  It breaks our heart to see her throw this chance away and we hope that after New Year Karl rethinks it all..




Love can happen in the most Unexpected places:

At work for instance:



Whether you are a porn movie stand-in, or Prime Minister, everyone deserves to be happy...



Love is its own common language:

Who doesn't cheer at the scene when Colin Firth walks through the streets of Marseille with his love's family to ask her to marry him?  Sure they speak each other's language poorly but they are in LOVE!



And sometimes your friends are your greatest loves...

One of the most touching love stories in the movie is between Bill Nighy (who steals every movie he is in) and his manager.  Christmas is all around, come on and let it snow...




But for me the most powerful part of the whole movie is the real-life shots of families and couples being reunited at Heathrow Airport.  Breaks me up every time...



And of course, the movie gave us that now classic Christmas song by Mariah Carey, "All I Want For Christmas":





This movie has something for even the most cynical of people.  It gets better every time I watch it, which is, for me, the sign of a Christmas classic...

How about you - will you be watching Love Actually this Christmas?

Have a happy Monday and stay safe out there!



43 comments:

  1. I love this movie, I watch it once a year too.

    I always think of how Liam Neeson lost Natasha Richardson during that funeral scene...

    Totally agree about Keira Knightley -- her smile is so weird in this movie!! I just want to tell her, smile normal! She does that weird teeth thing.....whenever we watch the movie, I do my Keira Knightley toothy smile and laugh impression and Hubs doubles over laughing every time. So strange and so awkward.

    Hugh Grant is absolutely hilarious in this movie (the dancing around, calling Maggie Thatcher "you saucy little minx" .... love it). Love his eventual girlfriend's blunders throughout too, quite funny.

    I had the movie version of All I Want for Christmas in my head ALL DAY yesterday and I haven't even watched the movie yet this season! LOL

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    1. I know! It is quite addictive! Apparently, Hugh did NOT want to do that dance number, but I think he did a great job!

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    2. Dance number was pushed to very last shoot day, and they couldn't get rights to song he was willing to prance to either.

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  2. I too love this movie but have not seen it for a few years. Didn't even realize "Rick" was in it. Where is Kiera by the way...have not heard from her in quite awhile. Hugh Grant was the English male version of Meg Ryan.

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    1. good description of hugh! Keira is busy being married, though I am sure she is coming out with something soon, she always does!

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  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Thanks for Mondaying one of my all time faves WMM. Hard to believe it's been a decade! Also have to give a shout-out to Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) for loving his job during the silly season. And will cut Keira some slack since was only her second film.

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    1. Oh, and never mind odd school concert scheduling and lobsters in the nativity, don't you wish your school band sounded like that, or PMs actually gave speeches with colour and bravado?

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    2. Ha! I love me some Mr. Bean - he makes me smile!!! And I like my nativity scenes to have an underwater motif - things go swimmingly (she said to the pun Queen!)

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    3. Whatever floats your boat WMM - always enjoy these Monday at the Movies series posts!

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  4. Another one of my favorites together with About A Boy and Notting Hill. Love the soundtracks too. The Brits do these types of movies so well. For some reason I didn't like Valentine's Day even if it's from the same genre.

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    1. marie - I am with you - the Brits seem to have made this a fine art that is not easily duplicated, except perhaps by the late great Nora Ephron...

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  5. Oh and how could I forget the Bridget Jones movies...

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  6. Finally a movie I saw!!! Love this too.

    The Heathrow scenes get me as I used to do this with my family at xmas...

    But what really gets me is that scene with Emma Thompson. OMG. Kills me every time. That and the scene in Damages where she lost her son are the two most heart wrenching scenes in cinema...

    I hope they play in on the telly because for me this is the best xmas movie. Curtis has a way of making London so magical.

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    1. CSW - As god is my witness I will get to London one year over the holidays and you can pick me up at the airport (or your workmen who will still have your car!)

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    2. Or I can get them to pick you up to give you their side of the story ;P

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  7. I gave up on it, "too girlie" but hubs loves mush like that!

    But anyway, "There's a warm wind blowing the stars around…" I love that song!

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    1. Ah - you are in the "Die Hard" Christmas movie camp (we consider that a holiday favourite too)

      I think your hubs and I might be separated at birth...

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    2. Definitely heart on sleeve and jumper, but can't believe you can't find a tiny, I'm Scottish but, Grinchy warm spot for a film with LA as initials and Snoopy style get up and dance soundtrack ;-)

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    3. I hated Love, Actually too. I know alot of people LOVE it, but I thought it was too sappy, cheesy, lame. *ducks*

      I do love this post though!

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    4. Hubs has just said that his favourite Christmas film is Eyes Wide Shut. Get Fresh, you have just sold it to me, you should be in marketing/PR...

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    5. two thumbs up for JCREWJD and Tabs' husband - eyes wide shut - I had to sleep with one eye open after seeing that - creepy!!!!

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  8. I can hardly remember this movie. I only saw it once and it was a very long time ago. I'll have to watch for it, maybe it will be on cable.

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    1. Cate - I am sure they will be replaying it!

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  9. WMM, totally forgot to mention every time I go to a toy store now I think of Emma Thompson as Karen and that line about "Daisy's friend, which doll, transvestite or dominatrix?" Totally true about so many of them - Bratz etc.

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  10. This is one of my favourites! I've got Little Rascal home and maybe we'll watch it today. I own a copy so I can watch it every year.

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    1. Skipping inappropriate section...

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  11. Good pick Wendy! I watch this every year. I always hoped too that Sarah's guy would have a change of heart.

    Emma Thompson is magic in everything she does - even a tv interview! Looking forward to seeing her in the new movie about the writer of Mary Poppins.

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    1. Patricia - I wish we could go together! I am so excited to see that!

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  12. I love that movie. It breaks my heart. My son loves it, but I can't leave him alone for even a second for fear of the age inappropriate parts which I ff while he closed his eyes lol.

    Great acting, Liam and Emma just break my heart. Her h's secretary infuriates me lol. I could write a novel here. I think Emma does a fantastic job.

    Great movie pick Wendy and I totally see your name on that sign. He is dreamy for sure!

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    1. A - I hope Dani read your comment! ;-)

      I am SURE I saw my name...

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  13. Oh I'm with you! I love love love this film, I always seem to watch it in bed, on my own, just before Christmas & it's perfect in every way; you describe it all so well.

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    1. But why isn't there a cricket scene????

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  14. We watch this every Christmas too. I love it. I love it better each time I watch it. The other day in the car, the actual song "Love is all around" came on the radio, and my husband thought it was a joke, having only ever heard "Christmas is all around!"

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    1. M - that is hysterical! Poor man!

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  15. I never comment on anyone's blog but I had to on this particular post. I love "Love Actually" -it's one of my favorites. My favorite scene is the families being reunited at the airport- "God Only Knows" and I cry every single time!

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    1. Ha - Anon you should comment more often - I LOVE that scene too! I also cry every time and so does Barry!

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  16. LOVE that movie and it's a family tradition that we watch it all together each Christmas! So full of so many truths and emotions. Can't arrive in LHR without shedding a tear as I think of the film every time. Thanks for such a lovely revisit! It's it funny to see Mad Men's "Betty" in such a different role!!

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    1. I know! That whole Midwest stuff with the most beautiful girls in the world being crazy about a british accent cracks me up every time!

      You know I have never gone through LHR, only Gatwick!

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  17. Aw, I haven't seen this movie since it came out! And every christmas I think- Oh, I'd like to see that again...this year I'm gonna do it!

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    1. Let me know what you think!! Hope work is slowing down a little!

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Kindness is a virtue...