Saturday 19 September 2009

49: Twelve Movies - Love Actually

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Originally posted: 21 March 2009

12 Days: 12 Movies
Day Ten (Part 1): LOVE ACTUALLY
(2003, 129 mins, Dir. Richard Curtis)

Put Simply: Shit Actually.
Stars: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and everyone else you'd expect in this sort of thing...

Fuck me, I picked my timing with this movie, didn't I? Liam Neeson playing a man whose wife has just died? Ouch :(

With the exception of Neeson's story arc, everyone's basically just playing themselves. This is the same Kris Marshall, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Hugh Fucking Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth etc that you've seen plenty of times before. It'd be more accurate to have called this "Working Title's Greatest Hits".

Let me say now that I wanted to like this, but just didn't warm to it. There are so many threads crammed into this that none of them really come over as convincing, due to the lack of screen-time for each one. This also left me clockwatching quite a lot, as it's so busy jumping around that it completely failed to engage me. About an hour into the film I thought "Am I really supposed to be moved by characters reaching the zenith of their particular story-arc, but that I've only known for 10 minutes?" The flip side of all this, of course, is that the film's about half an hour longer than it should be. And although they tried to bring characters to the same location for the end of the film, it would have been too much of a stretch (even for Curtis) to wrap this up in one place, so instead we get a half-hour long series of endings. A bit like Return of the King, only without an excellent film preceding it.

Had there been THREE, or maybe four intertwining stories here, this would have worked a lot better. Instead, it's just too messy for my tastes.

Oh, and that bit with Hugh Grant dancing to the Pointer Sisters? Shit sandwich. The scene takes place in the evening, and the song's introduced by Jo Whiley. Everyone knows she's done the late-morning show for the last fifteen fucking years. And that's not even why it's shite. I was embarrassed watching that bit, and I was on my own, I can't imagine how all those couples in the cinemas felt

This ain't for me, next time I'll listen to my instinct.

I reckon: 4/10

Tomorrow: The Departed.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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