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Overall Rating
3.91

Awesome: 31.16%
Worth A Look46.38%
Average: 9.42%
Pretty Bad: 7.97%
Total Crap: 5.07%

8 reviews, 90 user ratings


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Love Actually
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Pretty good, actually"
4 stars

Arriving in U.S. theatres a little too early to capitalize properly on its Christmas theme, the U.K. production LOVE ACTUALLY is such a witty, pleasant film that it's easy to forgive it for being essentially NASHVILLE lite. That is, NASHVILLE transported to England, given a rom-com gloss, and lacking that unsightly Altmanesque satire. It even has a recording-studio scene over the opening credits. Coincidence? Probably not, I'd think.

All this has the unfortunate effect of reminding you how good NASHVILLE really was--LOVE ACTUALLY can't quite compare. But who cares? Considered on its own terms, the film brings along enough brisk comic invention to make it worth your time.

It's a rich movie that feels long but not overlong; writer-director Richard Curtis (screenwriter of BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY and various Rowan Atkinson projects) successfully juggles an imposingly large cast--and pumps uniformly decent performances out of all. He follows over a half-dozen prospective couples, their orbits crossing periodically, in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Participants in this cinematic roundelay include Hugh Grant (as, of all things, a lovestruck Prime Minister), Colin Firth (lonely novelist), Bill Nighy (aging twitchy rock star), Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, and about a dozen others I don't feel like mentioning.

If you're thinking that most of these guys are gonna get together at the end, you are of course right, but the trip to that predictable ending is often clever. Curtis has a natural comedic flair. He doesn't often go for the belly laugh, but he's good at those tiny, incidental inventions that produce "charming" films.

And so the movie has an unforced sweetness about it. It's enough to overcome Curtis' occasional tendency toward cliche and the plain old bad idea, as in that bit where Grant suddenly breaks into dance a la RISKY BUSINESS. Also, why does every ensemble piece like this have to include a DJ whose running commentary is supposed to give the film cohesiveness?

But LOVE ACTUALLY is, overall, a good holiday film that luckily doesn't condescend to teach us the true meaning of Christmas or anything quite so obvious. The film is too honest for that.

It doesn't lack for sentimentality, and in a few spots comes perilously close to 200-proof schmaltz; but in the last it contains more truth--about relationships, how they come together and fall apart--than your average Hollywood product.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8297&reviewer=223
originally posted: 11/04/03 19:23:12
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User Comments

12/20/16 Charity ABSOLUTE BRILLIANT FILM. Brilliant casting. Brilliant acting. Brilliant writing. 5 stars
4/03/12 Shirley Temple Thomas Sangster was one unappealing little boy. How old is he now?, 2 stars
3/23/12 Les S. A bit of a slow start but it pulls you in and you find yourself enjoying it. 3 stars
1/08/11 Beverley Sporck Sends all kinds of messages. Great to view around the holidays. 5 stars
8/06/09 Simon A lot of the reason we do see movies is to feel good. A cheesy guilty pleasure 5 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
12/03/07 Ionicera sweet and shallow 3 stars
9/01/07 johnnyfog Schitzo plot, but Liam Neeson's in it, so it's OK. 4 stars
5/14/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
4/12/07 Dark Enchantress If i could give it a zero i would! Oh yeah that girl kiera knightly is a slut! 1 stars
2/09/07 Stanley Thai One of the better romantic comedies. 4 stars
12/02/06 William Goss Stuffed, slight, but undeniably charming. Nighy provides snarky oasis amongst the schmaltz. 3 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz I love pieces of this film, just not all of the characters. 4 stars
9/27/05 Corinne Pettersen I adore this movie, especially Carl - please can you give me more information on him. 5 stars
4/15/05 Danny Takes a while to get into it, but worth the time. 4 stars
3/08/05 Hydrian Good romantic flick without being too mushy to deter the guys. 5 stars
2/05/05 Amy Bradshaw Such a sweet film, quite refreshing. 5 stars
12/27/04 mjoc Adequate holiday fare 4 stars
12/25/04 Hugh Janus Too cutesy by the guy that played Karl was fucking deadly...SCHWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
12/13/04 Helen Great movie!! Also loved the music 5 stars
10/24/04 michaelb14 Very feel good, funny movie for the holidays, Nighy is hilarious 4 stars
9/27/04 alicia definitly a chick flick..but a damn good one 5 stars
9/05/04 Dave My whole family loved this film. Funny and touching. Emma Thompson remarkable. 5 stars
8/16/04 John charming and immensely entertaining 5 stars
8/05/04 Chris this movie had maybe too much to say but very sweet and endearing. worth checking out. 4 stars
7/18/04 Daveman I was left with mixed feeling but I won't deny I enjoyed it. 3 stars
7/15/04 S.F Total crap...actually! 1 stars
6/19/04 Monster W. Kung A piece of crap! 1 stars
5/23/04 Vic & Helen We loved it...a happy, warm and romantic comedy 5 stars
5/05/04 TIM HENNEKER HAS A TINY PENIS GOOD MOVIE 2 stars
5/04/04 Beverley Sporck Need to view it a couple times to 'get' most of it anyway. Thought provoking with humor. 5 stars
5/03/04 chris. packing bad stories into a movie to fit the alotted time does not make a movie "ultimate" 1 stars
4/29/04 The Dude Britain sucks, but the movie was good. 4 stars
4/23/04 Jack Saw it on a plane and found it delightful with a bit of truth but no universal truths 4 stars
4/22/04 Littlepurch. A bit too pointlessly sad in places but some moments were v.funny and acting was all gr8. 4 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart not my sort of thing its too romantic !!9BUT GOOD IF YOU LIKE THAT SORT OF THING) 3 stars
4/10/04 Gemma An absolutely fantastic heart warming film that had me gripped all the way 5 stars
4/07/04 harriet best movie ever actually bloody fantastic 5 stars
3/13/04 wrob Textbook, pithy, sentimental pap. Painfully cliche and predictable at the same time. 2 stars
2/03/04 jacqueline robson love actally is all around good 5 stars
1/25/04 amy not for the cynical or self rightuous 4 stars
1/24/04 Saf aWESOME MOVIE--saw it 3times in the first couple weeks! 5 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody This was such an awesome film! Will never get tired of HG in the same role every movie... 5 stars
1/19/04 Cathy It revamps popular cliches with devilish British humour. 5 stars
1/18/04 Carol Shanahan CRAP ACTUALLY 2 stars
1/15/04 Heather Purplethorne Ending has some feelgood fluff, but the getting there -- TOO LONG! 3 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Good cast rounds out this hopelessly contrived, overdone romantic comedy. 2 stars
1/14/04 Chupa Chups I thought it was good! cheesy, but touching. 5 stars
1/10/04 Chris You cannot be serious! Have our tastes slipped this low??? 1 stars
1/10/04 Shadaan Yikes ! 2 stars
1/10/04 ness you HAVE to see this film 5 stars
1/08/04 Mokina It was a really sweet movie not everythings about sorrow,good to see that portrayed 4 stars
1/02/04 OnlyChild It's a sweet movie.. 4 stars
12/31/03 christina thomas sangster made me love this movie, he was the best actor there 5 stars
12/30/03 Chlo Gyllenhaal I thought this was really good! Cheesy, but the sort of film that just made you smile! 4 stars
12/29/03 your worst goddamn nightmare you might get this if you really really love someone... loved it, actually... 4 stars
12/28/03 Donelle Occasionally quite funny, over-inflated, deliberate audience manipulation & predictable 2 stars
12/27/03 John Bale The ultimate Xmas feel good movie with a fine cast. Lotsa Fun. 4 stars
12/23/03 Dee Fantastic Film. loads of hot men, the funniest film I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
12/21/03 Littlepurch Some depressing bits but v. funny overall. Loved it, actually. 4 stars
12/17/03 Greg Register Without fail...one of the most entertaining films I have seen in years. 5 stars
12/16/03 Michelle Teeva, you must be a women's rights lesbian, get off it. 5 stars
12/16/03 jada most hot men in one movie 4 stars
12/16/03 Teeva so sexists, every woman subserviant - while exposed! gratuitously. 1 stars
12/15/03 Ginnie Roberts Brilliant 5 stars
12/15/03 Kent I enjoyed it - funny & thought-provoking. 4 stars
12/15/03 christina Gee this is the bst movie ever 5 stars
12/13/03 Carla It was fabulous! Alan Rickman is the best! 5 stars
12/12/03 Viv Phillips Xmas feel good movie for 2003 ! Yeah Poms you sure know how to do it! 5 stars
12/10/03 Jummai It had warm funny scenes and you werent forced to laugh and enjoy it, came naturally 4 stars
12/10/03 katrina lomas feel good and fun 5 stars
12/09/03 Vicky Adams I loved it. I bet everyone watching could relate to one of the stories 5 stars
12/03/03 Hayley Absolutely terrible. Calculated, stereotypical, sexist and racist (against the Portuguese). 1 stars
12/02/03 the muffinman who the hell is karl and where can i find out more about him hes sexy 5 stars
12/01/03 president billy bob Too many low points to mention all - a very sappy R-rated chick flick,not a film for guys. 2 stars
12/01/03 guisada yes 5 stars
12/01/03 LordJiggy A brave masterpiece about choice and choosing love...even if it costs you. 5 stars
11/27/03 Mike H Crap, actually. Which is surprising considering the great cast. 2 stars
11/23/03 jrsygrl I enjoyed the film because it leaves you with a warm-fuzzy feeling - - and a smile. 4 stars
11/23/03 Bobbio Best film of the year, great cast, very funny. 5 stars
11/22/03 amy made me feel warm and fuzzy, without hating myself for it 5 stars
11/19/03 Johnny's Been Rotten Saw it. Loved it. Most charming movie of the year. 5 stars
11/18/03 nick2k very cute and adorable... "we're gonna get the shit kicked out of us by love" 5 stars
11/17/03 marzio arigoni@rtsi.ch too many boring little stories... 2 stars
11/16/03 Deanna I will quote the film "Say Yes you skinny moron" and go see this with someone you love. 5 stars
11/12/03 john fun, love trip...light hearted ... mooshy 5 stars
11/12/03 Heather Perfect Christmas & date movie, charming British movie 5 stars
11/11/03 Tyler GOOD MOvie 5 stars
11/09/03 Max Ernst The greatest date flick ever. Went 2x, 2 diff girls, both: score. Love this film! 5 stars
11/07/03 Cameron Slick If you're going to be dragged to one chick flick this year, be dragged to Love Actually. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 27-Apr-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2003


Directed by
  Richard Curtis

Written by
  Richard Curtis

Cast
  Hugh Grant
  Liam Neeson
  Alan Rickman
  Emma Thompson
  Laura Linney
  Keira Knightley



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