Holiday Hearts
Love Actually
Review by Ross Anthony

Rather sprawling in its portrayal of several love stories, the film strikes some appeal at times, and misses the mark at others -- all the while somehow managing to present itself in a charming manner. With not much time to actually get to know the characters, excellent actors come to the call, and in fact, most do a find job there.

Though not particularly believable as the British Prime Minister, Grant presides primarily as himself -- delightfully falsely modest, semi-bumbling, good-hearted, in love. He's at his best meeting the muscling, womanizing American president played by Billy Bob Thorton -- perhaps a fun well-deserved, rib at the States.

As for the rest of the film? The kid in the octopus costume earns the biggest laugh, Billy Nighy as the self-deprecating, washed-up rock artist is a close second. Otherwise, the film swings sometimes abruptly from light-hearted to broken-hearted serious -- averaging itself out with lows and highs in both drama and humor.

Writer Richard Curtis is no stranger to the romantic comedy. While I really enjoyed "Notting Hill," "Four Weddings and a Funeral" didn't do much for me. "Love Actually" is more like the latter. Still a strong B, almost a B+. Kudos to the very touching "real" tape of couples and families coming together at the airport. These clips package the film perfectly with love and add a great deal to its presentation.

With so many little stories of love and love gone sour to tell, the movie gets to be a bit of a mess at times. But then again -- doesn't love (actually)?

  • Love Actually. Copyright © 2003. Rated R. 135min.
  • Starring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Linney, Rowan Atkinson, Andrew Lincoln, Joanna Page, Lucia Moniz.
  • Directed by and Screenplay by Richard Curtis.
  • Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Duncan Kenworthy at Universal/StudioCanal/Working Title.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:05:12 PDT