Yesterday’s movie: Love Actually

Richard Curtis gives us one of the sweetest movies of recent memory with his meditation on the many aspects of love in Love Actually. This is not a slick, made for Hollywood movie and if you were expecting a love story with Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister falling for Martine McCutcheon’s Natalie, as some of the advertising might lead one to believe, you would be wrong though hopefully not disappointed.

Curtis, who made his directorial debut with this effort, is a veteran screenwriter who has long effective in combining romance and comedy (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral for romantic comedies, most of Rowan Atkinson’s oevre for pure comedy) and I think he’s really put it all together for Love Actually. The film is a melange of vignettes on different types of love, elegantly stitched together, and elevated to a lofty whole by an excellent cast. Grant is definitely a personal favorite, as is Emma Thompson playing his (younger?) sister–her Much Ado About Nothing is in my all-time Top 10–married to philandering Alan Rickman.

Love can be wonderful, sweet, endearing, unanticipated but also hard, painful, demanding, disappointing and unrequited, and Curtis covers them all. This is on my Top 5 for the year and I don’t expect that to change.

Definitely recommended