Preview by: Jack Foley
Everywhere you look, love is causing chaos. And so
unfolds the premise for the latest romantic comedy from Four Weddings
and a Funeral/Bridget Jones
Diary scribe, Richard Curtis.
Love Actually, which opens in UK cinemas on November 21, reads
like a whos who of British cinema, with a few big name Americans
thrown in for good measure.
For starters, theres Curtis regular, Hugh Grants
new, bachelor Prime Minister, who falls in love 30 seconds after
entering Downing Street with Martine McCutcheons cockney
tea-lady, as well as a jilted writer (Colin Firth) who escapes
to the south of France in the hopes of nursing his broken heart.
Theres also a middle-aged woman (Emma Thompson) having
trouble with her husband (Alan Rickman), a schoolboy with a crush
on the prettiest girl in the school, whose architect step-father,
a recent widower (Liam Neeson), has a crush on Claudia Schiffer,
and a bride (Keira Knightley) having problems with her husbands
best man Andrew Teachers Lincoln.
Oh, and not to mention, an ageing rock star attempting to make
a comeback at any price (Bill Nighy), who shamelessly steals the
In Love Actually, the London lives and loves of these characters
collide, mingle and climax on Christmas Eve - again and again
and again - with romantic, poignant and funny consequences for
The film marks the directorial debut of celebrated screenwriter,
Richard Curtis, who had previously only penned Four Weddings,
Bridget Jones and Notting Hill, and further cast members include
Laura Linney, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty
Pretty Things), Gregor Fisher, Joanna Page, Rowan Atkinson
and Thomas Sangster, as well as brief cameos from the likes of
January Jones (American Pie:
The Wedding), Elisha Cuthbert (24)
and Billy Bob Thornton.
The idea for the project began to emerge during the filming of
Notting Hill, when Curtis confesses to taking the decision to
write nine or ten romantic comedies at the same time, while on
holiday, using little incidents from his own past, and the lives
of the people that he knew.
The challenge then became to convey the movies message,
that contrary to popular opinion today, in a world forever scarred
by the effects of terrorism, and the war against it, love still
manages to thrive and is more active than people imagine.
Concludes Curtis, who has chosen to book-end the film with scenes
of people greeting each other at an airport arrivals hall, after
watching the joy on their faces while sitting in one in Los Angeles,
this is a reality worth clinging to.
"Im very haunted by what constitutes being realistic
- if I had to say, to me The Sound of Music seems to be quite
a realistic piece of work. That film, which is accused of being
totally saccharine, says two things: that good people hated the
Nazis, which they did; and that lots of people fall in love and
love their children, which they do.
"So there seems to me to be more truth to that than something
thats called a searingly realistic drama, because all over
the world, every minute of every day, people are falling in love.
I say that no matter how dark the world gets, the actual texture
of life has a lot to do with love."