We think we may have found one of the holiday season’s best examples of a “Bah, humbug!” reader-comments thread. The Guardian shared at the beginning of the week a pair of wonderful mini-essays from Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis and co-star Bill Nighy. Or so we thought.
Coming back to check on the 10th anniversary article a few days later, FishbowlNY was dismayed and, yes, also somewhat amused to find British readers dumping all over this pair. Let’s start with some of the reaction to Curtis’ statement that Love Actually is “his Pulp Fiction:”
TheNiceKrispie: It’s his Four Rooms.
ThomasChristopherKin: Nah, it’s The Room four times.
SolomonGrundy: It’s his f*cking Sharknado.
OK. Excepting the filmmaker’s grandiose Tarantino comparison, how about the film as a whole, on its own merit?:
maybeitsbecauseima: It’s not so much a film as a collection of two-dimensional vignettes spoon-feeding Curtis’ concept of Englishness to a world audience. In his films he celebrates emasculated men, racial stereotypes, elitist lifestyles, glib conservative types masquerading as socially mobile aspirants, super rich men and women suffering terribly in their middle class, Laura Ashley town houses. We see vacuous English men and women worshiping everything that is American, maids swooning at the mere sight of a backward, halfwit Conservative prime minister. In a word, his cheap exercises in propaganda organize everything I resent about conservatism in this country into two-hour long fantasies of trite, upper-class nonsense.
Dodecahedron: I really do despise this film, and one of the reasons is the cynical way in which it tries so very, very hard and so self-consciously to be a ‘classic’. Richard Curtis trying to be the Noddy Holder of cinema so he can pick up another fat royalty cheque every year and achieve some kind of immortality. But he didn’t write It’s a Wonderful Life, he didn’t even write a proper film, it’s just a lazy collection of sketches, of half-formed ideas strung together to try and make a bit of cash. Any self-respecting writer would have done the decent thing and consigned them to the bin. It really is breathtakingly cynical and shows a complete contempt for the audience. Did I say I despise this film?
Even the headline, “How We Made Love Actually,” is not immune:
lierbag: How we made Love Actually. More pertinently, why? There’s already enough suffering in the world.
Do yourself a favor and check out when you can some of the other reactions. It’s a veritable Christmas feast.
[Photos courtesy: Universal Pictures]