Movie Review: Love Actually

So I don’t actually own very many holiday movies and I didn’t feel like watching any more Die Hard movies, but I’m actually kicking myself in the shin for choosing Love Actually as my next movie to watch.

Love Actually is the ultimate romantic comedy from the makers of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill. Funny, irresistible and heartwarming, an all-star cast will take you on a breathtaking tour of love’s delightful twists and turns. Fall under the spell of Love Actually and share the laughs and charm again and again.”

I think watching this movie was probably a really bad idea for me and where I’m at right now. And I think this review is going to get a lot more personal than some of my reviews have been in the past and will likely have some spoilers. So if you don’t want me to ruin the movie or to listen to me be a pathetic sap, you might want to stop reading.

It’s a great movie because it shows all the aspects of love, and all the aspects of lust as well. A father’s love for his son, helping him learn how to play the drums so that he can be in a school musical and get the attention of a girl in school he has a crush on. The love between siblings as they support each other, even through the roughest of times. The movie also shows the different stages of lust. A husband who is distracted by a beautiful younger woman whose wife finds out and they still work together for the sake of the family. A guy who travels to America just to get laid. And so many people in the movie spend a lot of time judging people based off their appearance.

But the movie really is about love and how it can change your life and how it sometimes requires more work than most of the movies show. Mark shows up at Peter and Juliet’s flat and has a series of poster board cards he made.

“Say it’s carol singers.”
“With any luck, by next year I’ll be going out with one of these girls.”
“But for now let me say,”
“Without hope or agenda,”
“Just because it’s Christmas -”
“(And at Christmas you tell the truth)”
“To me, you are perfect.”
“And my wasted heart will love you”
“Until you look like this …”
“Merry Christmas.”

Only, the part the sappy movies never tell you is that when you’re honest on Christmas, if you’re me, it will actually make things worse. You’ll put your heart on a shiny, silver platter and you’ll offer it and everything you have and everything you are to someone you care about more than anyone in the world. You’ll take all the courage you have and you’ll offer the truth or simple lies and because the person you care about is worthy of your love, they will only want the truth. So you’ll be honest and say how you feel, but it’s too much. And then things fall apart and you spend a year not even on speaking terms.

But that’s only the beginning of the story. After the fall, after the crash, you rebuild a life a thousand times better than the one you destroyed. You realize that you’re not getting what you want out of your own life and that your current lifestyle is unhealthy for you. So you follow your dreams and things in your life change in massive ways. Things get better. Your days are spent on your own terms and you reclaim more of your life every day. You meet fantastic people and you have wonderful adventures. Things are good. You become a positive person and you share the thankfulness and joy in your life with everyone around you. As much as this year has been very difficult, I’m glad that things happened the way they did because of where I’m at in my life now.

Adventure Buddy, I miss you. I miss you each and every day. I am sorry if this last year has hurt you. I know it’s been the most challenging time of my life and I can’t even imagine what you’ve gone through. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you and I’m sorry things went so poorly between us. You don’t need me to tell you how intelligent, awesome, fantastic, smart, fun, amazing, and wonderful you are – you already know of all that. And I guess it could seem to you as though because I am loyal, caring, thoughtful, kind, and generous that how I feel about you is not different or special. You are the only person I have met in my life that is an equal partner to me in every way. There is no part of my life that hasn’t been made better because you. Thank you for helping me be who I’m supposed to be. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. I miss you.

So as much as this movie hit me pretty hard, it really is a good view on love in every aspect. And it has an equal balance of amusing parts and really heart-wrenching parts. As much as I feel like Mark, watching from the outside while the people around him are happy and his heart is torn apart, who still is supportive of his friends, I also feel the underlying messages of hope and love in this movie. The music is good and fits perfectly with each scene. And every character in this movie ends up in a mostly okay place.

Overall, I’d probably rate this movie as a high three on my rating scale. It’s worth watching and does have amusing moments and generally leaves you feeling hopeful.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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