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Why Love Actually Is The Best Film Of All Time

It’s that time of year again when my friends start protesting and taking the huff over my movie choice. Lucky for them I pick the best movie of all time. Gladiator? The Godfather? The Wolf of Wall Street? No. Love Actually. I am going to take you through a few points on why I think Love Actually is the best film of all time. 

I would say my friends would agree I have a dramatic flair about me and this may be why I enjoy watching this PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE ALL-YEAR ROUND film as often as I do. I try to romanticise life to the best of my ability. This can be difficult when so much hate, anger and war is occuring in the world but Love Actually reminds us that there are good times to be had and that love conquers all. Who doesn’t want to be loved? 

The movie deals with multiple lives that are all going wrong in some way. Each character has developments along their path and we see their problems being resolved. The opening of the movie has Hugh Grant narrating the setting of the first scene at Heathrow Airport. He states… “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think of the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that… love actually is all around.” Grant’s posh pronunciation has a magical alluring effect and reels us in straight away. 

I think that Richard Curtis, the director of Love Actually, was well aware that when he was making this film, he had to be careful. The twin towers in New York had been destroyed in a terrorist attack on the 11th September 2001 and Love Actually was released in 2003. Tensions were still fresh and Richard Curtis had the job of bringing happiness back into the world for Christmas that year. His job was to remind the world that love still exists. A tremendous task after such a monumentally disastrous, heart-breaking event- from which the world was still reeling. Curtis had to be respectful but he also had to remind us that life still goes on and that we should make the most of our opportunities while we can. With Hugh Grant’s character narrating the first scene from a well-known airport where loved ones were being reunited, this seems like an ode to anyone who was affected by 9/11. The important message is prioritised and then we move on to the comedy of the film. The fact that the film did not shy away from tackling the subject of this terrible crime, makes me respect it even more. 9/11 was not ignored but addressed head-on. 

Love Actually is British. I love this because I love British films. The reason behind this is the humour. British humour is plain and simple. No sugar coating, no dramatic build-up, just shocking and brutal insults. There is something so dry and satisfying when Colin Firth twists the corner of his mouth and then smoothly states the most insulting comment you've ever heard. The mockery and the ability to laugh at our lives with such intelligence in our words,is what makes British humour elite and so addictive. Love Actually is full of this and I can never get enough. A star-studded cast helps the plot as well. Initially, you are curious how anyone can write a decent story when there are so many interesting participants, but it works perfectly. It is comforting to see actors who have had massive success in film, playing smaller parts and being equal to each other in importance. It is amazing that they are also able to let that typical British banter flow between them so effortlessly. 

A different reason why I love this film is because it shows the various kinds of love we all experience in life. We have a prime minister falling in love with his catering manager, a writer falling in love with his non-English speaking housekeeper, a brother relying on his sister to get through the pain of his late wife’s death, a son grieving his late mother but falling in puppy love with a classmate. From near-office affairs to forbidden love, Love Actually covers nearly all scenarios. You could say that there is not enough inclusion in this film in regards to seeing same-sex or disabled couples on screen. This is totally fair but we are talking about the unequal year of 2003. Love Actually was the blueprint for rom-coms to come. Think about Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Year’s Eve (2011). Maybe it’s the film's silliness that draws me in so much. The prime minister standing up to the American president and then getting his girl after knocking on random doors in the street where she lives. Then there’s the airport scene where a small child sprints through security to get a glimpse of the love of his life and say goodbye before she jets off to spend Christmas abroad. Multiple rom-com moments occur within the film's time span, leaving us on the edge of our seats at all times. We want to see how it all works out for the large cast, and how everyone is connected and how their stories link together. 

The last and final reason why I love this film is because it reminds me to have hope. Love Actually’s main message is that love is a universal language in humanity. Every bond and connection we make has some kind of love in it. Christmas is just an excuse to be audacious about it. Love Actually may be a little controversial today in 2023, but the film's intentions are pure. Love actually is all around us; you only need to open your eyes to it. 


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