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I Was One Giant Goose Bump for Love Actually

Nov 9, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great casting, great music, great chemistry...

Cons:Too many story lines - I wanted separate movies for each!!!

The Bottom Line: A chick-flik filled with lots of neat little surprises. Sigh. Drool. It hit the spot!


Preamble
Hot men. Gorgeous, but non-threatening women. Hormones. Relationships. A wedding. Christmas. Bitchin' music. My gawd! Could you ask for a more perfect movie?!

The Story
This is gonna be difficult to explain. The story is really about relationships - love, desire, betrayal, lust, forgiveness, and possibilities. It involves several people, all intertwined in one way or another however, you don't figure this out until much later. I'm not going to list ALL of the stories - just some of them :).

Daniel (Liam Neeson) is a recently widowed man who has a moody, but adorable eleven year-old step-son, Sam (Thomas Sangster). Daniel wonders if he'll ever find love again. Sam wonders if he'll ever get OVER being in love.

The Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) is just starting his term in office when he finds himself wildly attracted to one of his assistants, Natalie (Martine McCutcheon). Just when he's ready to think about taking that next step with her, he walks in on her and the President of the U.S. (Billy Bob Thornton) in a suspicious position.

Harry (Alan Rickman) and Karen (Emma Thompson) have been married for eons and are the proud parents of two children. Harry's assistant Mia (Heike Makatsch), puts the full court press on Harry in her Victoria's Secret undies.

Sarah (Laura Linney), who also works for Harry, has been secretly in love with her co-worker Karl (Rodrigo Santoro), for over two years.

Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) have just been married. Wildly in love, neither can understand why Peter's best friend Mark (Andrew Lincoln) treats Juliet so poorly.

Jamie (Colin Firth) and his girlfriend (Sienna Guillory) seem deliriously in love - that is - until he comes home to find his brother bangin' her.

Who finds love? Who gets screwed? Who wins? Who loses?

The Scoop
I love Richard Curtis. If you're not familiar with him, he's the guy that brought us, Four Weddings and A Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones Diary. He knows, he understands romantic comedies. Part of it is the casting. Part of it is the chemistry of the pairings. The last golden part is the music and you know what? He got it ALL right!

The movie which was written and directed by him has so many golden nuggets in it that it's almost a shame that he didn't separate them out into different movies. That was my one complaint - I wanted to see more of Hugh Grant with Martine McCutcheon and more of Laura Linney with Rodrigo Santoro. Heck, I don't think that there was any couple that I didn't want to see more of. Otherwise, I felt like his pacing worked.

The writing was smart - I laughed a LOT. I cried a couple of times. I sat there thinking - gee, I can't wait to get this on dvd so that I can memorize all of those quotable quotes.

With each movie, Hugh Grant continues to look and feel more comfortable as the main, romantic lead. He's cute, but not too cute. He's very close to perfect but with many flaws. In other words, he knows the formula by heart and he executes it like an old pro.

I was thrilled to see Emma Thompson back into a major release. Although her story line wasn't nearly as glamorous as others, she pulled off her character perfectly and I was once again reminded why this woman is an Oscar winner.

The surprise casting of the film - the guy I didn't know about before entering the movie theater - was the ever, versatile, Billy Bob Thornton. I swear, the man has also found his niche as a slick and handsome, scheming politician. I'd vote for him! :)

It's hard for me to resist talking about all of the eye candy in the movie. I am of course, attracted to the ever charming Hugh Grant but I was surprised at how much I wanted Andrew Lincoln and Rodrigo Santoro. I don't want to give too much away but let me tell you that the scenes with Andrew in them (those blue-green eyes!!!) made me want to cry, but in a good way. With Rodrigo, it was the total opposite. I was in awe of his rippled muscles and rugged, good looks. I swear, when he was suckin' face with Laura Linney, I was oozing with hormones. This guy is definitely MY type. One night babe. That's all I would need him for. Just one night.

And the women - gawd - they were just as edible as the men. Keira Knightley and Martine McCutcheon were scrumptious. I love Keira in Bend It Like Beckham and I'm hoping that she continues to stay in the forefront of movie going audiences.

The music was a mixture of Christmas and other stuff. There was old tunes - Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, and new stuff - Dido, Maroon 5. Every single song heightened the emotions of a particular scene. Sheer perfection I tell ya. The sad thing is that the soundtrack has about 1/3 of the songs on it that appeared in the movie :(.

The End
Love Actually is rated R for sexuality, nudity and language. This movie was exactly what I needed today. I struggled with my rating - 4 or 5 stars? While I don't think that it's a classic, it's definitely a very strong four. You can bet that when it hits dvd, I'll be buying my own copy.


Recommend this product? Yes

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