As 'Love Actually' starts counting down the weeks to Christmas, we follow a select handful of characters. All of these characters are in some way connected in their stories about a wide variety of different types of love. Something like how 'Crash' worked, but instead of racism themes, it's love themes.
I could describe all the different story lines going on in this, but there are ten of them. Just hearing that, one may think that it's a bit too overcrowded and complex, but it's actually quite easy to follow everything, especially now that basically everyone in it is a pretty big, recognizable name.
Breaking down the cast, we have Bill Nighy, Keira Knightly, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Martin Freeman, Hugh Grant and a cameo from Billy Bob Thornton as the American President... by the way, there's actually a lot more, but we could be here all day.
I found it very interesting that it only warranted a Rotten Tomato score of 66%. I suppose in some ways it could be seen as "sappy", after all, it is a film about love, love and more love. But I tend to lean on the positive side of things upon reviewing it.
I have to admire the fact that they manage to intertwine ten stories really quite well. And with ten story lines, one can pick and choose his or her favorite (the most popular tends to be the Liam Neeson story, it would seem). It surprisingly all blends together very nicely.
I tend to wonder, since the film did well in the UK (where it is based), where it failed in America. If I had to guess it might be because the American President was seen as a sort of villain to Britain's Prime Minister in this, but that's just a guess, since it's such a small portion of the film.
As far as it being a Christmas film, it works very well! Christmas is constantly counted down throughout the movie, you see lots of lovely Christmas stuff everywhere, and above all else, the whole movie is all about the concept of love, which is a huge part of what Christmas is all about. Therefore, I have dubbed it a new Christmas classic.
While it may not be as well-reviewed as I think it ought to be, I do still encourage people to sit down and give it a watch, at least once. It's almost a guarantee you'll find a story line within it that you'll end up relating to. Hell, I related to two when I first saw it! Just bear in mind that you'll get some sappy stuff here and there, but I can't imagine it not being excusable in a movie ABOUT love!
In the end, it turns out to be a rather warm and fuzzy movie that I personally throw on every Christmas now. It's one of those movies that whenever I see it, I leave it feeling ultimately warm and happy. This is a pretty strong recommendation from me, especially if you can appreciate that awesome British humour.