With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, tis time to look at a movie that is considered a Christmas classic, but to my mind can just as readily be applied to this wonderful holiday.
This past holiday season was the first time my lovely Googliebear and I ever saw Love Actually, a 2004 movie release that seems to star every British actor since the dawn of time. And to say we were mesmerized by this tour de force is an understatement.
The plot is simple really. It is all stories about Love. That’s it. Now enjoy.
To expand abit on that is slightly difficult, since so much happens to so many characters who interact in so many ways, that to explain everything away, even partially, would be hard. We are talking explaining requiring flowcharts, a powerpoint presentation, an abacus, and numerous sound affects.
To give you a taste of what to expect and love, one storyline involves the newly elected Prime Minister developing somewhat of a crush on a staffer. Another concept is a widowed step-father helping his son with first love. Yet a different aspect is shown when a middle-aged man contemplates an affair. Bittersweet hits us with the story of the woman torn between her brother and her maybe lover. And don’t even get me started on the aged rock star staging a comeback, very much on his own terms.
All these bits and pieces of humanity mesh and mix together so well. Just when one tale reaches a certain point, they wisely flip to a different one. This joyful process continues unabated throughout the entire film, making it all feel like one long continuing narrative, a glimpse we are all getting into everyone’s lives, journeys that are still going on to this day.
While it is not always clear on first viewing how everyone knows everyone, it causes complete happiness whenever a connection is revealed, whether overtly or sneakily. The ending will cause spasms of giddiness with not only each tale reaching somewhat of a coda, but with even more hidden relationships being illuminated.
In so many ways, each story highlights all sorts of different kinds of love. Couples in love, unrequited love, co-workers in love, young love, wandering love, lusty love, brotherly love, and friendship love are all present and accounted for. Not everything ends in the way we want and hope, but the realism in this quasi-fairytale makes it all the more enchanting. Sometimes life can be quite messy and unresolved, and this point is beautifully made in Love Actually.
Valentine’s Day celebrates all that is good and kind and loving about life. Love Actually brings all that and more to the fore.
…is currently reading How To Talk Dirty And Influence People by Lenny Bruce.