Preview by: Jack Foley
WHY Richard Curtis chose to release his star-studded British
romance in America before the UK (should we feel cheated?) only
he knows, but the word from the US has largely been positive.
Love Actually debuted on Friday, November 7, and actually drew
more favourable reviews than The
Leading the fanfare, and awarding it a B, is Entertainment
Weekly, which predicted that 'it's going to make a lot of
holiday romantics feel very, very good'.
While E! Online gave it a similar grade and stated that
'there's plenty to love in Love Actually. Almost too much'.
Variety, meanwhile, described it as 'a roundly entertaining
romantic comedy, Love Actually is still nearly as cloying as it
And the Boston Phoenix felt it was 'relentlessly optimistic'.
Strong, too, was the view from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
which found it 'just about impossible to dislike, even if you
really, really want to'.
And from the Los Angeles Times, which opined that 'though
it would be dishonest to call this an unqualified success, it
would be churlish not to tip the hat to Love Actually's genuine
Not everyone raved, however, with the New York Observer finding
that the film was 'a patchwork of contrived naughtiness and forced
While Newsday felt that 'Love Actually is to the romantic-comedy
genre what a Sherman tank is to sport- utility vehicles'.
And the Film Journal International stated that it 'only
proves that Curtis needs to learn when enough is enough'.
The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, found that 'Love
Actually, Curtis' holiday-themed directing debut, abandons any
pretext of sophistication for gloppy sentimentality, sugary pop
songs and bawdy humor - an approach that works about half the
But the negatives were largely in the minority, with the likes
of USA Today declaring it to be 'simply irresistible',
and the Washington Post finding that 'there's enough that's
right about Love to compensate for what's wrong with it'.
And if that's not enough to appeal to the love-struck among you,
then consider the Hollywood Reporter, which wrote that
'Curtis imbues his tales of broken hearts and ecstatic adoration
with a festive passion and a cheerful optimism that sweeps the
And the Chicago Sun-Times, which wrote that 'the movie's
only flaw is also a virtue: It's jammed with characters, stories,
warmth and laughs, until at times Curtis seems to be working from
a checklist of obligatory movie love situations and doesn't want
to leave anything out'.
The movie opens in the UK on November 21.