A review of ‘Love Actually’ as if it were released in 2016
The notion that a young musician might idolise Ringo Starr as his favourite drummer is perhaps the least offensive thing about this racist, sexist, creepy, and deeply depressing Christmas film.
‘Love Actually’ is objectively awful. A film set in the height of London’s housing crisis, Richard Curtis’ failed attempt at a holiday rom-com follows the lives of a few separate groups of unspeakably middle-class people who somehow all live in beautiful flats and houses that would all cost millions to buy.
The film opens to a gangly Bill Nye playing the role of a washed-up, dirty rockstar pervertedly purring into a studio microphone to record his comeback Christmas single. A man of zero decency and heaps of disgrace, Nye spends the film dancing and frolicking in front of video cameras backed by a bunch of tall, skinny white women who all. Look. The. Same.
And don’t even get me started on this film’s laughable whiteness. Spoiler: every key character in the film is whiter than New Hampshire except for one token black male who gets married to a constantly-gurning Kiera Knightly. Oh, and guess what? His best friend (also white) comes along toward the end of the film to try to make her fall in love with him (and she kisses him. What a great best friend! What a great new wife!).
The same kind of wildly presumptuous, entitled, deplorable sexism seeps through every pore of this film. The only “working-class” man in the film (who is made to look stupid, obviously) makes it his Christmas mission to head over to the US, because, as he tells his even-more-clueless black sidekick: “You know perfectly well that any bar anywhere in America contains ten girls more beautiful and more likely to have sex with me than the whole of the United Kingdom.” And when the character, Colin, heads over there, he immediately finds four beautiful American women who all want to sleep with him at the same time. Obviously. Because that’s what all American women are like. Obviously.
An awkward, stuttering Prime Minister played by Hugh Grant doesn’t manage to be the film’s saving grace, either. When he meets a young woman working at Downing Street, he decides he fancies her, then sacks her because he fancies her, and then has the absolute lack of self-awareness to go to her house on Christmas eve to tell her he fancies her. That after apparently being disgusted at a US president who tried to grope her on a state visit when she was working there.
And if Richard Curtis’ feature-length Frankenstein’s Monster wasn’t bad enough, the only thing the one disabled person in the film — who has severe mental health problems — manages to do is completely ruin his sister and carer’s Christmas. By stopping her having sex with a man.
Apart from all that, every single character in the film is obviously straight, a widowed Liam Neeson tells his stepson to learn the drums to impress a girl (and subsequently run to an airport to try to stop her from going back to her country because he fancies her), and Colin Firth asks a woman’s father for her hand in marriage.
So I implore any discerning Christmas-lover this holiday season to avoid and actively boycott going to watch this disgracefully bad movie.