Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tis the season...

... to watch movies. Holiday movies. They engender in the viewer a feeling of contentedness and joy. Whether it be Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty, White Christmas, or It's a Wonderful Life, everyone has their favorites. December can not come to an end in my house without a viewing of White Christmas. The singing and dancing alone make it a classic. Here in Chicago there is even an annual sing along viewing at The Music Box theater. What can be better than a room full of people singing along "Sisters, sister, never been two more devoted sisters..."

Another one of my favorite holiday movies is one that I must confess to watching year round. Whenever I am feeling melancholy or romantic or bored or am cleaning or... well, you get the point. This movie isn't just a holiday favorite, it is one of my all time favorite films.

What movie is this, you ask? Why Love Actually, of course.

Why do I love it? It is not one specific reason, but a collection of many. Love Actually contains romance, comedy, serious moments, fabulous actors, and sharp, realistic dialogue. Here are some of my highlights:

Liam Neeson. He may not be conventionally handsome, but there is something so compelling about him. His interactions with the boy playing his stepson are fabulous. They have a great chemistry and report. The emotion he shows as a grieving husband is touching. There is a moment between him and Emma Thompson in his kitchen where he suddenly starts to cry. The emotions ambush him. It is believable and real. Emma's response is classic. "If you keep crying all the time no one will ever want to shag you."

Alan Rickman. I love him. Seriously, ever since I was in junior high and watched Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. He was so evil. In Love Actually he is... well, kinda stupid. He and Emma Thompson play a husband and wife. Watching them, you actually believe they are a married couple in real life, it's so natural. It is a testament to their acting abilities. When they are sitting in their family room and Emma is picking out gifts for her daughter's friend, I always laugh out loud. "Should we give her little friend the one that looks like a transvestite or a dominatrix?"

Billy Mack/Nighy. Oh man, he is such a highlight of this film. His skeezy former rocker is lovable and reprehensible. He gets extra points for the slight against Britney Spears. The song he sings in the movie is on my Christmas playlist. Cheesy? Yes. Fabulous? Most definitely.

Colin Frizzle. "And he has a big knob!!!" heehee! It makes me giggle like a 13 year old boy every time. I love that he goes to Wisconsin, of all places. In the commentary, Richard Curtis admits that he didn't realize what the state was like when he wrote the film. It wasn't until after filming it that he realized how unintentionally funny that is. I remember leaning over to my friend in the theater when we saw it and agreeing with Colin's assessment that he could come to America and get a girl simply because of his accent. We silly girls are a sucker for an accent. There once was this Kiwi that I knew.... ::sigh::

Karl and Sarah. Their story is heartbreakingly sad. It was the love that should have been. The truly sad part is that so many times in life outside circumstances impact your romance in a negative way. Everyone has experienced that at some level in their lifetime. I think that is why this plot line rang so true.

I love that the most innocent of all the couples is the one that we see naked together. This was such an odd, random story. So cute. When he leaps off her front stairs after their first date I wanted to squish him. "All I want for Christmas is you."

Speaking of, little Sam and his crush on Joanna? Adorable!!!!

Lastly (for this post since it is getting long, but not the last thing I love about the film): the unrequited love. Not just the story, but his declaration. If any man ever did this for me I would cry like a baby and then be all his. It is sweet and funny and romantic. I just love it.


JenB said...

Love love LOVE this movie. Love. It.

Now I wanna watch it again.

Kati said...

What happened to the cutie from the unrequited love story? He was adorable. Has he been in anything else?

Rowena said...

LOVE this movie, I saw this movie in the theaters 8 different times. that's how much I love this movie. There's so much I love about this movie's the best holiday movie for me.

Shannon said...

Isn't it just great. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Kati- He has done a bunch of stuff over in England. Was in a show called Afterlife.

Rowena- I can quote along now. It's bad.

Zeek said...

Love love LOVE this movie too! All of it. I really need to break down and buy it rather than scanning for it every weekend on the telly.

I cry with Emma Thompson everytime ...

I loved the ending when the little guy plays the drums at the Christmas pageant with eyes only for his love.

And Mr. Darcy learning- well what ever language the girl spoke-

And Linney and the Hunk-

And OMG Hugh Grant and the secretary!

Dangit, loved ALL the stories!!!

Tracy said...

Oh I love Holiday movies and I LOVE Love Actually - definitely one of my favorites. Now I'm going to have to pull that one out and watch it. :)

Marisa O'Neill said...

Forgot how much I love this movie - looks as if I'm going to have to rent it again. I'm thinking of doing a marathon- Love Actually, The Holiday and Meet Me in St. Louis.

Katie Reus said...

I LOVE this movie!! I even have two copies (don't know how that happened) It's hard to pick one of my favorite characters, but I'm going with Colin Firth's. I love how they're conversing with each other before they even speak the same language! *sigh* I'm gonna go home and watch it tonight!

Medical Librarian said...

This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite movies, but this is the best time of year to watch. I find myself humming "All I want for Christmas is you" as soon as the holiday music hits the radio.

And Colin Firth steals any movie in which he has a role, so I have to go with that love story as my favorite. All the stories are good, though, and what a fantastic cast.

Rowena said...

I'm right there with you Shannon, right there with you!

KMont said...

Chiming in late, but I LOVE Love Actually! I have watched it so many dang times. Great movie. Colin Firth dancing through the prime minister residence to Jump (For My Love) is one of favorite scenes from a movie. Ever.