Love Actually (2003) – Richard Curtis

The most painful title to admit to liking on a list I’m working on in Ten Bad Dates With De Niro is the saccharine sweet Love Actually from writer/director Richard Curtis.

Telling a plethora of love stories, the film features a stellar cast of top-notch British actors, and that alone makes the film worth a watch, even if it is a little sappy. Check out this who’s who list Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon,Martin Freeman, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson, and Alan Rickman.

And I have to admit, it’s so easy to like this movie. It’s just such a wonderful celebration of all manner of love, Neeson, Thompson and Rickman get to do the real heaving lifting as Neeson plays a newly widowed father raising a young son (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), while Rickman and Thompson play a married couple and Thompson’s character discovers, in a beautiful and heartbreaking moment discovers that Rickman’s character is having an affair.

All manner of love stories play out, filled with laughs, and truly touching moments. It’s so sappy, and honestly it’s hard not to fall in love with it, and realise that if you are lucky to have someone who loves you, and you love them back, don’t forget it.


Curtis knows exactly how to elicit the laughs, and then twist the knife with a poignant moment. He knows his craft, and those who are cast in his films get to play out some iconic, oft-quoted lines, and pull out on our heart strings.

And honestly, who doesn’t want to say some of the things that Bill Nighy’s rockstar character gets away with in this one.

Set at Christmas, over the years it has become a  holiday standard and graces screens throughout the festive season. Forced to choose between some of the other ‘rom-coms’ that fill the airwaves at that time of year, I’ll happily settle in for this one again, and admit that I do like it.

Not all the stories play out like you hope they will, but the way they must, even in an idealised romantic world, but that just makes some of them that much more poignant and romantic. Sometimes it’s better to only be on one side of that love, or to support those that need your love, and sometimes, it’s about grabbing that chance when it comes along, and snog the one you want.

So if you want to tackle something inanely romantic, sweetly sappy, then go for the golden goose. It doesn’t get better than this. And see, it wasn’t painful to admit.

I wonder what Ten Bad Dates With De Niro has for me next…



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