Sunday, December 14, 2003

I watched Love Actually today. It was a wonderful movie, typically British. When British movies are good, they can be pretty damn good.

When the show ended, I felt good and crappy at the same time. The show begins - and ends - at the Arrivals Hall in Heathrow Airport, the one place where, as Hugh Grant narrates, "love actually is all around." Despite the fact that I haven't been met at Heathrow that many times, those scenes still affected me greatly. Whenever I fly to London, I am consumed with joy just as the plane begins its descent into London. I may have hated the place during my first two years there, but right now, I do love it dearly. And I've walked those halls at the airport many times... So many times such that I ended up crying just watching all the scenes of joyous arrivals at Heathrow.

The wonderful scenes of London at Christmas-time didn't help either. My parents have just left for London yesterday to visit my brother, and this is the first time in twenty-two years that I'm going to be all alone for Christmas. The previous Christmas was the first time in six years that I wasn't going to be in London for Christmas. Sigh.

But don't get me wrong. I loved the show. The soundtrack complements the movie well, with Dido's Here With Me going oh-so-well with the scene when Mark flees his home after Juliet discovers his true feelings, Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now playing when Emma Thompson discovers her husband could, quite possibly, be cheating on her, and the Beach Boys' wonderfully romantic God Only Knows coming on at the end of the movie at Heathrow airport, showcasing all the marvelous and joyous reunions taking place.

This really is a feel-good show. If you suspend your disbelief and your cynicism for the two hours that this show lasts, you'll find youself incredibly rewarded, filled with joy and happiness.

Moments to love (SPOILERS):

- When the band pops out of various parts of the church at various points in the rendition of All You Need Is Love after Peter and Juliet (Keira Knightley) get married. Incidentally, the song itself is not all that good on the song track. It's overdone, and just too polished.
- Every moment after the Prime Minister, David (Hugh Grant) interacts with Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), the tea lady. The way he reacts is classic - and so representative of each and every moment after I have just finished speaking to a guy I really like.
- Every single scene which aging rock star, Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) is in.
- The parts when Jaime (Colin Firth) and Aurelia are speaking to each other in English and Portuguese respectively, not knowing what the other is saying but unconsciously echoing each other.
- When Juliet goes to see Mark to see the footage he took of her wedding. She watches the footage, sees that Mark has only captured her on film and realises that he has feelings for her. It's evident from the way the footage has been filmed that the cameraperson really cared about the subject... and we see the trepidation, adoration, embarrassment and resignation on Mark's face as the video continues to play. (We've all been there - when our feelings have been revealed and there's nothing more we want to do than run like hell.)
- When Mark (Andrew Lincoln) tells Juliet how he feels about her, how he's telling her "without hope and agenda" that she's perfect to him. (Awwwwww. Sniff.)
- When Joanna sings All I Want For Christmas Is You - a song I really do love.

Guys to love:

Almost everyone! Rodrigues Santoro, definitely. When he wore a suit and spectacles, he looked so cute and shy that I would have jumped him in a second. Hugh Grant, just because he's Hugh. Colin Firth, for being so British and clumsy in languages other than English. And Andrew Lincoln - for being so incredibly sweet.

Quotes to love:

Daniel (Liam Neeson), worried about how his stepson, Sam (played wonderfully by Thomas Sangster), is handling his mother's death, speaks to him to find out why he's been so quiet and withdrawn and finds out that Sam... is in love!
Daniel: Oh, OK, right. Well, I can't deny it. I'm a little relieved.
Sam: Why?
Daniel: Well, you know - I thought it might be something worse.
Sam: (Incredulous) Worse then the total agony of being in love?
Daniel: (thinks- long pause- realizes) Oh. Yeah, you're right. Total agony.

Billy Mack: Kids, this is a message from your Uncle Billy. Don't buy drugs. (beat) Wait until you're a rock star, and they give them to you for free!

Mark: (On sheets of cardboard) With any luck by next year
I'll be going out with one of these girls (pictures of beautiful supermodels)
But for now, let me say
Without hope or agenda
Just because it's Christmas
(And at Christmas you tell the truth)
To me, you are perfect
And my wasted heart will love you
Until you look like this (picture of mummy)
Merry Christmas

Sam: Let us go get the shit kicked out of us by love.

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