Merry Christmas everyone!
Although I am still very much enjoying this indefinite break from blog writing, I wanted to put something together for the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year™. Unfortunately, it involved watching Love Actually.
Love Actually is the 2003 Christmas-themed film by serial Rom-Com-er Richard Curtis. It has about a million characters and each scene lasts less time than it takes to say “absolute drivel”. Presumably every scene is so laughably short to stop the audience from considering literally everything that happens in it.
With that in mind, I watched it again this week, and have decided the only way to accurately get across my dismay at how this is such a popular film was to list the ten worst people in it. I’ve used the actor’s names and a description, because f*ck if I know what anyone is called.
(Note: this is scientifically accurate. It’s pointless arguing with it. Science).
10) Alan Rickman’s Adulterer
Yeah, Alan Rickman makes Emma Thompson cry because he dances with his PA and then buys her a gold necklace. That’s not nice.
He also spends most of the film hovering around letting his wife do the jobs he should blatantly be doing himself (like socialising with his own staff!), and then he pries in to the love life of one of his employees, which I’m pretty sure he should get in trouble from HR for.
Basically, he’s a pretty nasty piece of work, and yet not even close to the worst person in the film.
9) Sienna Guillory’s Adulterer
This is Colin Firth’s girlfriend who cheats on him at the start of the film with his brother. She also uses the phrase “hurry up big boy, I’m naked and I want you at least twice before Jamie gets home”, which no actual person has ever said in real life.
It leads to Jamie taking a Portuguese slave and marrying her after spending about 10 days together and exchanging two words.
Again, it says a lot about this film that she doesn’t even crack the top eight.
8) Heike Makatsch’s Seducer
This is Alan Rickman’s PA. She is on screen for about 40 seconds in the whole film. 10 seconds of those are saying unnecessarily seductive things to Alan Rickman to get jewellery out of him, and the other 30 are her walking around in her bra and pants. She’s the least developed person in a film of 12,000 characters.
7) Kris Marshall’s Sex Addict
You know how I said Alan Rickman’s PA was the least developed person in the film? I lied. Kris Marshall had more depth in his BT adverts.
Basically, he plays a slow-witted sex addict who decides to move to America to get laid. He travels only with a huge bag packed full of condoms. He’s such a creepy little perv it’s not clear if his visa would have listed this as business or pleasure. He hits on everyone he comes in to contact with, and the only things he says are laughably sexualised (sample quote, in response to someone saying you’ll come back broken: “yeah, broken from too much sex”. Dialogue!)
He’s what it’s like when a middle-aged, middle class British man tries to write an American Pie character. He’s a creep, he’s a pervert, and he’s exactly the type of person you would go out of your way to avoid if you knew them in real life. He gets rewarded in the film with an orgy with Elisha Cuthbert and January Jones.
F*ck this film.
6) Emma Thompson’s Inconsiderate Friend
Emma Thompson gets emotionally cheated on her husband. That is sad for her, and no-one deserves that. HOWEVER, she is also incredibly rude to her friend on the day of his wife’s funeral.
Liam Neeson calls her in the morning to basically say “I’m sorry to bother you, but I have no-one else to talk to about my grief of my wife dying and having to bury her today”. Emma Thompson is all “yeah, whatever, my sh*thead kid wants to talk about their nativity”. And you thought kids in 2016 were spoiled.
But then it gets cranked up a level when Liam Neeson breaks down after the funeral. He is a single parent trying to look after his step-son. He is clearly grieving, and his step-son seems to be having some sort of an episode to avoid dealing with the idea of his mum having died a few days ago.
Neeson cries, so to console him Thompson says, I swear to God:
“Get a grip, people hate sissies. No-one’s ever going to shag you if you cry all the time.”
He literally just buried his wife. What is wrong with you?
5) This Guy With The Spiky Hair Stood Behind Martine McCutcheon’s Parents
Seriously. Look at him.
4) Liam Neeson’s Terrible Step-Father
I will accept that grief makes you do strange things, but that doesn’t make him any better a person. He is so overcome by his own sadness he becomes a total absentee father, failing to see even the most basic signs that his 11-year-old step-son is on the verge of a breakdown.
Think I’m overplaying it? The kid’s mum died 5 weeks before Christmas. In that time, he falls in love with a girl at school who has the same name as his mother, becomes depressed about the girl at school (not by his mum dying, though), then becomes so depressed he wants to act out the romance scene from Titanic with his step-dad (!), becomes obsessed with learning to play a musical instrument on the premise that this will somehow win this girl over, then breaks all sorts of aviation laws to break through airport security to chase the girl, dragging security guards away from their life-or-death role of checking for actual terrorists.
And Liam Neeson encourages all of this behaviour, all because he’s too self-centred to see what is going on right in front of him. Appalling.
3) Richard Curtis
I appreciate it may seem harsh to include a writer and director in a list of worst people “in” a film. So why does he make it in? Is it because he made a really awful film? No.
Well, yes. But also no.
He’s on the list for two reasons:
- Within the first 60 seconds of the film, he wrote for Hugh Grant to make a hamfisted point about love by referencing the deaths of over 3,000 people on September 11th. Which was only two years before this film came out. That is, at the very least, insensitive.
- He made a film targeted at women and packed it full of unrealistic ideals of romance, gratuitous female nudity and body shaming.
F*ck, the body shaming. Any woman with a good body has to get their boobs out (Stacey from Gavin and Stacey, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman’s PA). Anyone who is anything other than skinny is mocked for their weight. It includes this passage:
Hugh Grant: You know Natalie, who works here?
Assistant: The chubby girl?
Hugh Grant: Would we call her chubby?
Assistant: I think there’s a pretty sizeable arse there, yes sir. Huge thighs.”
They’re talking about Martine McCutcheon, who looks like this:
She’s not even overweight! She looks great. Crap actress, but looks great and is a perfectly acceptable weight. And yet her own father in the film calls her “Chunky”. And then the Portuguese slave’s dad calls his other daughter “Miss Dunkin’ Donuts 2003”.
What absolute bullsh*t. Richard Curtis should be ashamed.
2) Andrew Lincoln’s Peeping Tom
Somehow, someway, I feel like this character has become the “romantic” centre of the film. He’s fallen in love and they don’t love him back, so he makes a grand declaration of his feelings without agenda or hope of success.
That’s the film version of his storyline.
What we actually have is a man who films his best friend’s wife without telling her. That in itself is inexcusably weird (and illegal). When he gets caught out, he literally runs away. He then sneaks to their house one night with a weirdly elaborate plan to confess his love – while his best friend sits upstairs – when the normal-person thing to do would be to apologise and maybe turn yourself in to the police.
Oh, also, one of the cards basically says “I’ll love you until you’re a rotting corpse”, which is an insanely intimidating thing for a psychopath to say to a woman he is propositioning after he was caught secretly filming her.
Oh, also, he completely makes the wedding all about himself by hiring three dozen musicians to flash mob the happy couple.
What a pr*ck.
1) Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister
Hugh Grant is a handsome bachelor Prime Minister who is supposed to be super popular with the public. I’m already having my imagination stretched too far.
He falls in love with his tea lady after about three sentences, because in Richard Curtis’ world no-one is allowed to grow feelings over time. You know, like in real life.
During a Cabinet meeting, he challenges his anti-American colleagues with a totally rational speech. He basically says that making rash decisions is stupid, and nothing is to be gained by throwing his toys out of the pram when he meets the President.
It’s an excellent, logical point. It would be absolutely insane to ruin decades of UK/US relationships over something minor when both sides are so dependent on the economic and political alliance we have developed over….
Wait, what’s that? You caught the President of the US smelling (?) the tea lady you have looked at twice, have zero relationship with and have secretly fallen head over heels in love with? This can not stand!
The Right Honourable Hugh Grant MP, Mr. Prime Minister, Sir, time to make your feelings heard in a press conference with the President stood a couple of feet to your left:
“I love that word “relationship.” Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… Britain.
We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.
And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.”
Yeah, sure showed him, by destroying a political relationship in front of the worldwide media because of one tiny event! Bring on the financial collapse a few years early, I don’t care! The economy will recover, your broken heart will not! Let’s destroy everything.
I’m just glad we avoided throwing our toys out of the pram.
In a film full of cheats, psychopaths and self-obsessed d*ckholes, it takes a special type of person to be the worst of them all. And it all it took was destroying a country. In a romantic comedy.
Congratulations, Hugh Grant. It turns out that love, and really terrible character writing, really is all around.