Many films set in London desribe themselves as ‘gritty’, ‘real’ and ‘unflinching.’ Love Actually is not one of them.
This film follows the interweaving stories of Londoners going about their ordinary lives – as mothers, fathers, Prime Ministers, rock stars and sex-scene body doubles – as the capital prepares for Christmas. Love is examined from almost all angles and almost always comes up as the heartwarming substance that makes life worth living.
Love Actually presents a sparkling image of London, where everyone lives in spacious townhouses that in reality only the star cast could afford. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley and so many more that I’m running out of blog space.
So, while this film bears almost no resemblance to life or travel in London, it’s one of the most spirit-lifting I’ve ever seen without stumbling into sentimentality. If nothing else, watch the authentic opening few seconds, filmed in London’s Heathrow Airport. No, really, watch it.
NB – In contrast, the film’s depiction of Wisconsin, USA is utterly compelling and believable. Watch, learn – and boys buy a plane ticket!