Skip to content

Film Review: Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually is a Christmas rom-com made back in 2003, yet is regarded as one of the best holiday films made by many people. Directed by Richard Curtis, this film has a star-studded line-up that includes Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley and so much more. This film focuses on the events leading up to Christmas surrounding numerous people, and see the family issues and romantic troubles that occur leading up to the magical day, as we watch all of their individual stories link together.

Love Actually (2003) – source: Universal Pictures

This is one of those Christmas films I just kept hearing about from everybody, saying how much they loved it. It seemed to be one of those classic films that you can watch over and over again, and that there was something for everybody to enjoy. This formula of a star-studded cast in a story that conveniently interlinks numerous stories together has been coming back in the past decade, thanks to the popularity of films such as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day, but this may have been the trend setter. I am not one for the typically holiday romance film, but with the hype of this particular film coming back up after being put on Netflix, I had to bite the bullet and give it a watch.

This is quite the cheesy film, particularly so for a rom-com. It has also seemed to be very aged, and fitting for a film released in the early noughties. However, there is still a lot of laughs and fun to be found in this. What helps this film is the star-studded cast alongside it. Hugh Grant is the best of the lot in this film, and as usual is an absolute joy to watch. Not only was his story alongside Martine McCutcheon filled with an innocent love and bliss, but their on-screen chemistry worked so well.
Another stand out pain from the film comes from Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson as husband and wife. Their story is the one that stands out from the rest, as it is a much darker tale that the audience doesn’t truly find out how far it ends up going. You end up feeling a lot of emotions by seeing their story develop, and if it wasn’t for the inclusion of that particular story line, I feel like the film wouldn’t have been as emotional as it ended up being.

Love Actually (2003) – source: Universal Pictures
The big problem with this film is also down to the gimmick – the amount of cast members and stories that this film tries to tell. Yes, they do focus on a select few, but they also sidetrack from several stories that were particularly interesting. Some of the best scenes come from the interactions between Keira Knightly, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Andrew Lincoln, and yet we do not get nearly as much time with them as we should. The ending of their story is also left wide open, even with the conclusion that ties everyone’s stories together.

I was also not as much of a fan of how they decided to tie everyone’s stories together. I was left getting confused about the timeline and how everyone was connected, and then the last scene happens. yes, this is a rom-com so it is expected to be cheesy, but this was beyond cheesy. Some people’s story lines also seemed irrelevant and only there to connect the characters together, which is unneccesary for a film with such a big cast list.

Despite my critiques with the story though, this was not as much of a cheesy Christmas film than I expected and I am glad about this. This story is only driven by the events that happen around the season, and not the ideas of Santa or mistletoe, which makes it a much more entertaining watch. This is a film that can be watched anytime of the year, and it would not seem weird to watch it outside of the Christmas season. I like holiday films that do that, as it is rare that happens.

Love Actually (2003) – source: Universal Pictures

I can see why this film is held up high by a lot of people, particularly those who probably watched it back when it was released. There are some fantastic stories to be told, and the cast all give stellar performances here. I am just simply not a fan of the format overall, and prefer to focus on a select amount of characters and the development that they go through in their story. This is still a charming film though, and there are some outstanding moments that simply must be watched. If you have a few hours, it is worth a check if you haven’t already seen it.


Have you seen Love Actually, and what do you think about it? Does the interlinking stories formula work, or are you already tired of it? Let me know in the comments below and I will make sure to check them out.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: