Monday, July 21, 2008

Love Actually

So what is this one about?
Simply, as the plot summary on tells us, Love Actually
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
If you look google the movie you will find tons of more descriptive summaries, but I really implore you to watch this one yourself (if you haven't already)

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. Originally I rented it on Netflix a few years ago. But I loved it so much that I bought it for like $7.44 (or whatever that bizarrely low price is) at Target almost immediately after watching it the first time.

And what did I think?
I talk so much shit about romantic comedies. I find them to be so simplistic, idealistic, and unrealistic I can barely stand them. To add insult to injury, they are wildly popular, people love them, and dozens (maybe hundreds) of them are made every year. It is beyond my comprehension.

However, once in a very long while I will absolutely love a movie that bills itself as a romantic comedy. I die a little inside when this happens, but it is undeniable.

There are at least a half dozen love stories in this movie, but the ones that I absolutely love the most are the ones that aren't the typical romantic love stories. The one with Laura Linney (which is bizarre because normally I don't really care for her) and her brother, the one with Bill Nighy and his manager, and the one with the guy who loves Kiera Knightley, but loves his best mate more are the ones that I find most touching. Its the use of love as a theme that elevates this movie out of the realm of romantic comedy vomit to a much more touching piece about the powers of love. (Man, that one with Laura Linney is so good! [SPOILER ALERT!] She wants to be happy romantically, and she is close, but the love she has for her brother supercedes that. It makes the audience a little sad, because she could probably have both, but she chooses the one that will always be there, the one that matters more. Its really touching)

The other stories never seem wildly far-fetched and unrealistic like other romantic comedies (yes, despite my dislike for the genre I have seen other ones). They may be whimsical and unreasonable, but isn't that the point? That love is sometimes actually that way too?

It really is just a great movie. You really have to be cold, I think, to not like this one. You don't have to admit you like it, because trust me, I understand what it takes to admit it, but you'll secretly know that you do.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
One of the things I have really had to come to terms with while thinking about movies in a new way so I can write this blog is the realization that sometimes we like movies that aren't really that good. But because we (as an audience) have some emotional connection to them we overlook their flaws. It makes me feel idiotic and girly to rate a movie like Love Actually a 10, but it is what I am going to do.

The movie fills me with such joy, and sadness (sometimes even at the same time), and gives me such an uplifting and funny movie watching experience that it could be nothing but a 10.

In my defense though, I would like to hear anyone offer some negative criticism of this one. I think it is very Forrest Gump-esque in that the story is so nice it is hard to find technical things that are wrong with it. But please, disagree with me if you can. I'd really like to hear it.


lori said...

no. agreed. a movie doesn't have to have a deep message or lofty subject matter or historical significance to make it good. it just has to be good. 10 indeed.

this is not a joke said...

Excellent. I am glad you agree.