“This is love” It’s not just great to watch. The film is a strong contender for Christmas Kevin (Home Alone), Jonah “Yippi Ki Yay” Maclinia (In a glass trap) And Amanda, Iris, Graham and Miles (On an intercontinental vacation “vacation”). For many viewers, it is certainly a must-see during the holiday season. “Feel Good” is an understatement, although today the screenplay could actually end its run at the draft stage.
Already at its premiere in 2003, not all critics were happy. Today, it is easy to criticize the “Love Actually” text. Many themes are treated very superficially and in a trite way, and some jokes would probably be cut from the script today at the first idea stage. The success of Richard Curtis is somewhat similar to the song “Seksmisja” or “Friends” by Juliusz Machulski. They are a product of their time, which may raise hesitation among viewers aware of the demands of the #metoo movement, and the fight for diversity and equal rights. however, They still entertain, move, act, spread in popular culture and inspire. This is a paradox.
There are scenes, situations and plot solutions in “True Love” that should disappear from cinema forever. For example, the character of the sexually dissatisfied Englishman, Colin (Kris Marshall), sees women only as the objects of his sexual fantasies. He soon meets such women: in liberated America, where beauties from magazines react to the sound of a British accent with radiant smiles, head shakes, and “insanely perfect lines of dialogue” about sleeping naked in the same bed with their boyfriends (also in negligees, of course).
Or Harry, the company president played by Alan Rickman. A boss calls subordinate Sarah (Laura Linney) on the carpet because of her love life and develops an unprofessional relationship with another employee. For the first time, he will be summoned to his boss’s carpet today, and in the new movie he will likely be a villain.
Or the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who asks who he should sleep with to get biscuits during a Cabinet meeting… and then harasses his employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) at home. The poor girl also constantly hears insults about her fatness. Is it love, stalking, persecution, or using a position of power against a woman who cannot defend herself?
Diversity cannot be found in love in reality. The London that unfolds on screen never existed off screen (not just today, but also in 2003 and 1903). He was never just heterosexual, mono-religious, rich or very wealthy (the weather, lack of traffic jams and crowds aren’t even worth mentioning). The “algorithms” under which many ideas have been put into production in recent years would raise all red flags if these materials were to be evaluated. However, Love Actually still has a group of followers and is gaining new ones. Make you feel happy.
The point is that Richard Curtis never aspired to become a new Ken Loach or Mike Leigh, a down-to-earth filmmaker, an incisive and socially sensitive observer of human existence. Others do it brilliantly. He’s betting on the movie’s candy. Sweet but tempting. All the flaws, shortcomings, and even sexism give way to a celebration of love, friendship, and family. The world still needs such a fairy tale. And in recent years, perhaps more so than when the film was shown in cinemas, when the wounds of the attacks of September 11, 2001 were still fresh.
When the news programs are filled with reports from Israel, and a moment before that from Bucha, the warm, longing and cheerful greetings in the Heathrow arrivals hall are soothing. Escape, yes, but that moment of relief, the positive vibes of two hours of viewing, with a bit of craziness and British humor gives you a breath, maybe a hope, maybe a dream. And although everything is “mousy” on the above levels, thanks to the actors (what a crew!), the dynamics of the editing, the songs, and the festive and romantic atmosphere – it is addictive.
Tell me – could Hugh Grant dancing in Downing Street really get old? Can Rowan Atkinson wrap the gift so carefully? Or Andrew Lincoln (before he started killing zombies in The Walking Dead) – standing in front of the door of his beloved Keira Knightley (so what if a woman has a husband – played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the romantic card friend; what if this husband is a character that does not actually exist in the movie, he Paper like those beauties in Colin’s arms, there is almost no dialogue…).
The choir emerges from various corners of the church during the wedding and sings “All You Need Is Love”; Backstage Kiss (Hugh Grant and Martyn McCutcheon); Proposal in a restaurant; Understanding Beyond Languages (between Colin Firth and Lucia Muniz) – These and many other scenes can touch your heart. It may even bring a tear to your eye. This is certainly what Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), a kid who overcomes his shyness to perform for the girl of his dreams (Olivia Olson) in front of a full crowd, certainly achieves. Claudia Schiffer’s smile is disarming. Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page – they all have their unforgettable “moments”, scenes that remain in the memory for a long time.
Can you find a better one in cinema? naturally! In bunches. Are they kitschy? shining. But they work. Simply. Few creators in the history of cinema have been able to do something like this.
(born in New Zealand) Curtis is an icon of British cinema. The legend man. The screenwriter who created the entire direction of British comedies and British romantic comedies. Author of more than 70 features adapted to screens big and small, including “Blackadder,” “Mr. Bean,” and this – this! – The Four Immortal Films: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and True Love. Many would like to see one of these hits.
Until True Love, Curtis was “just” inventing stories or adapting them to fit the needs of movie stories. However, he dreamed of directing. And when you have such a pen and a head full of such crazy ideas, why would you look for texts from someone else? So Richard and Anthony Curtis sat down at the computer and wrote nine romance novels (plus an episode of Rowan Atkinson).
“The Old Testament is easier to follow,” Stephen Rodrik wrote in a wide-ranging analysis (both critical and eulogious) of True Love for Variety. This is only part of Curtis’s original idea. The work began with fourteen stories. Some of them were quickly rejected, and two of them were filmed but later cut. Among them – worth noting – is the story of the relationship between two women (played by Anna Reid and Frances de la Tour (photos from scenes with their participation were leaked online in 2015).
“This is my ‘Pulp Fiction’.” – The director himself commented on the manipulation of the strings in interviews marking the tenth anniversary of the production. “I love this kind of film, which combines many stories, threads and characters. But I quickly realized how difficult this art is. I ended up with fourteen different love stories, but it would be a very long film. Very long.” He spent several months with editor Nick Moore arranging this puzzle in a way that was light, smooth, and comprehensible to the audience.
Richard Curtis wrote some plots and characters with specific actors in mind – some of whom he had worked with and been friends with for years. He turned some of them – like Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson – into stars. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted Hugh Grant to play the Prime Minister and Emma Thompson to play his sister. The character of Natalie was created specifically for Martine McCutcheon.”
In the case of others – it was fate, luck or just a brilliant choice (Mary Selway, Fiona Weir and Patricia Vasconcelos took care of it). The role of Billy Mac, for example, was supposed to be played by someone else, but the candidates either didn’t want it or didn’t perform well. Fortunately Bill Nighy showed up!
Luck accompanied the film makers in their search for the actor to play Sam. He’s a boy who just lost his mother, lives with his stepfather and… falls in love. A full range of emotions that can be played out in a believable way. When he met Curtis Sangster, he was amazed. “I can’t even tell you how much he was the only kid who could do it all,” he said years later. “During the search, at one point, we were about to give up. We thought we couldn’t have a 10-year-old in love because it didn’t seem real at all. Then Sangster came along. And he stood in front. The camera. And he did it.” just yet.
Footage from the arrivals hall of Heathrow Airport is real. The crew had to camp out at the airport, record greetings, and then plead with those photographed for permission to use their images in the production.
There are countless behind-the-scenes anecdotes related to the production of Love Actually. Curtis’s persistence won out. He may be the last dictator in the group to show such stubbornness in action. Hugh Grant for a long time refused to film the dance scene that is so popular today. He thought it was “inappropriate.” “He postponed and postponed it,” the director recalls in interviews. “He didn’t like the song. We originally wanted to use a Jackson 5 song, but Hugh wasn’t feeling it at all. He wasn’t happy about it, but we couldn’t wait any longer. We shot the dance at the end of the shoot.”
Are you sure the adage in Curtis’s work is true? That the truth is only told on holidays? Let the brave try honesty. For others, it is a romantic fairy tale in which love, hope and mutual kindness triumph. And Bill Nighy, of course.
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