Friday, July 24, 2009
Love Actually. B+
Combine every single typical romantic comedy moment, stereotype, setting, and even musical numbers and you have 'Love Actually,' a, for once might I say, epic tale of love. Written and directed by Richard Curtis, who previously wrote such notables as 'Notting Hill' and 'Bridget Jones' Diary,' 'love Actually' tells about eight different stories of people trying to find love. That alone sounds corny, but Curtis puts in so much humor that this really is, as advertised, the ultimate romantic comedy. The long ensemble cast includes Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightley, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, and Rowan Atikinson. With all these stories, some are definitely more memorable than others. Bill Nighy was hilarious as an aging musician, Hugh Grant was good as the British Prime minister (there's also an very funny cameo by Billy Bob Thornton as the U.S president) and I found Liam Neeson to be very touching as a widower who helps his young son find his secret love (pretty funny, seeing as his son appears to only be about ten). On the downside, the story involving Laura Linney was a failure, and Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson only succeeded because of their impeccable performances. Perhaps stealing the show was Atikinson, who makes a very brief, but very funny appearance at a jewelry store. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. I found it to be charming, very funny, and rather insightful. The outstanding cast also helped. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, 'Love Actually' may be a little long. However, the length notwithstanding, 'Love Actually' is one of the few romantic comedies that works for those who are and aren't a fan of the genre.