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Love Actually Retro Talk; Grade: B

Welcome to another edition of Retro Talk! The best time of year is most certainly here: Christmas Time! I’ve been a big Christmas guy since I was a little child, as this holiday brings nothing but good will and joy out of everyone. Today we’ll be discussing an acclaimed holiday film from 2003 Love Actually! Love Actually was made on a Forty Million Dollar budget, made 244 million total in the box office, contributing to a whopping 200 million dollar profit... NIOCE! Love Actually t’was liked by the audience and fairly amongst critics, as Love Actually surprisingly enough made noise in Award Season, being nominated for two Golden Globes for Best Comedy/Musical Film and Best Screenplay.

Love Actually centers around many individuals, as they all dealing with some hardships or triumphs this holiday season dealing with the subject matter of Romance, all taken place in London, England. Some tales are loosely connected and some aren’t connected at all, but all dealing with the subject matter of love. Whether it be a Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) having sudden heart eyes for a colleague, a best friend in love with his best friend’s wife, a young child in love with a school crush that’s leaving for America, or an English bachelor feeling he’s in the wrong place for Romance... They’ll all bring you a fair amount of delightful-ness, laughter, joy, and sadness this holiday season.

You know I was having a troubling week, as Love Actually is exactly what the doctor ordered... Nothing beats an effective rom com. Love Actually is accompanied by simple visuals, followed by an effective lovely score that brings harmony down your soul. It’s also worth noting that when Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) sings his Christmas rendition to his remix of his classic song... It brings out a great amount of laughter, as the intentional rubbish lyrics brings out some solid genuine laughs.

Love Actually brings out a STACKED cast, from the likes of Hugh Grant down to comedic legend Rowan Atkinson. Sometimes rom coms where the center point is on the amount of talent display on screen, often doesn’t create magic like one intended to. But with the cast of Love Actually... Honestly everyone does their part well, as each cast member contributes towards a moral purpose to the table, whether offering a charming personality or being a solid comedic relief.

I think what Love Actually does extremely well, is the fact no character in this film honestly stands out from the rest. Each and every character introduced with their own tale, is simply done as no one is trying to do too much or out shine the other. It almost feels like each and every character is like an ingredient to one dish: Each and everyone has their part, however they all contain the same measurements going into the dish... If you ever cook, you would understand what I’m talking about and could most certainly agree. I honestly don’t have a favorite performance in this film, I think everyone does a solid job as it’s extremely hard to choose one. Whether it be the charming nature of Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Kiera Knighly, the father charm of Liam Nession, the mother/spouse charm of Emma Thompson, or the comedic charm of Bill Nighly... Just a dope cast really.

Though I can’t pick out a favorite performance, I actually do have a favorite tale in this story that contains many simple effective tales contributing one gigantic narrative. I felt more connected to Daniel’s tale, centered around his son Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and his love life. As one falling for many love interests as a young boy, this one felt close to home to me as I found this tale extremely adorable with a lovely extreme finale that brings a huge smile out of me.

I feel it’s hard to pin point some flaws with this film, though it’s not perfect, it honestly knows what it is and it gets the job done fairly right on all areas. I guess some pacing issues here and there, while also some tales that needed to be fleshed out more or be developed more. You can argue that this film doesn’t have exactly all the time in the world to flesh out everything, so it can be excused as to why some tales couldn’t be developed more. Do I think it should be disregarded despite my issues?! Absolutely not, they all have a moral purpose and do their job just fine, I think every tale works extremely well together as contributing to one whole narrative.

Love Actually’s many tales contributing to one whole narrative, brings out a great amount of joy, laughter, and emotional ties as well. As the film wants to express that love is in the air this holiday season, whether it’s a good thing or an unfortunate thing as one tale consists of couple’s relationship falling apart or letting go of one that can never be loved by that significant other... Though the world may not be perfect, one thing for certain is there is somebody for everybody, as everyone can contribute to providing others happiness and love. What’s cool about Love Actually is though the tales are simply told... It does bring out a side in you, where you end up rooting our characters on as you jump in cheer for their success. I feel the screenplay is well written, as it understands the subject matter very well as it can be relatable to everyone, wherever tale you look at there is something for everyone here. Definitely needed a film and theatrical experience like Love Actually, truly enjoy this holiday film.

Overall, Love Actually is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out and if it’s playing in a theater near you, do see it definitely brings out some movie magic vibes here. -Mitch Smietana

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