Since the movie Love Actually was released in 2003, it's become a Christmas classic and a definitely favorite of mine to watch throughout the holiday season. But as much as I love the film dearly, there are a lot of things about the movie that are, well, a little off. It's hard to say, but there are many things that Love Actually fans don't want to admit they're wrong about. Like the fact that while the movie bills itself as a romantic comedy, Love Actually is kinda creepy and depressing.
Believe me, it's tough to come to terms with, especially when you just wanna snuggle up and watch the movie with a nice cup of hot cocoa. But when Screen Junkies made an "Honest Trailer" for Love Actually , I had to finally stop, watch the video, and face the (Christmas) music. The trailer calls the movie "Pulp Fiction for girls" (that got a chuckle out of me), while the voiceover guy calls it "a supercut of every rom-com clique in the book" that's not actually a movie about Christmas. I can admit that the Screen Junkies are totally right, but I still love Love Actually. After all, isn't love about accepting people — and movies — faults and all?
Here are the things Love Actually fans don't want to admit they're wrong about.
1. Mark Is Pretty Much Juliet's Stalker
Let's break it down: Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Mark (Andrew Lincoln) are best friends. Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter are newly married. Juliet thinks Mark isn't keen on her — until she sees the wedding video he shot, which is mostly focused on close-ups of her face. It's one of the creepiest moments in the movie, but it's played off as sweet, and Juliet is flattered. Meanwhile, I still can't get over the fact that Mark has shot his own personal video of Juliet's face at her wedding to his best friend! Honestly, I really can't imagine Mark is doing wholesome things while watching that video while he's home alone and lonely (sorry to be crass, but it needed to be said).
Oh, but it doesn't end with the creepy tape. Later in the movie, Mark shows up at Juliet and Peter's doorstep with giant note cards, giving us the famous "To Me, You Are Perfect" scene. But in reality, it's not all that romantic. Again, Mark is showing up to Peter's home to declare his dying love for his best friend's wife, while Peter is just casually watching TV upstairs. Juliet just laughs it off instead of calling the cops on this dude who has 1. been kind of a jackass to her, 2. has shot a creepy video of her, and 3. showed up at her doorstep with oversized cards that say, "I will never stop loving you, even if you're married."
2. Everyone Constantly Saying That Natalie Is "Fat" Is So Offensive
I didn't notice this when I first watched Love Actually, but in subsequent viewings, I got really annoyed at how often characters refer to Natalie as "chubby," "plumpy," or "a sizable ass." It's fat shaming, circa 2003, and it's a really unnecessary character trait for Natalie, who gets reminded of this constantly. I understand wanting to make the romance between her and the UK Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) an unlikely one, but I think the fact that she's a working-class gal who comes from a humble family and is a bit shy is enough. Why do we have to add in all the fat insults? Martine McCutcheon, the actress who plays Natalie, looks to be a healthy weight in the film, which makes all this "plumpy" talk even worse.
3. Sarah Is Also A Creepy Stalker — & Co-Dependent On Her Brother
According to Love Actually, Sarah (Laura Linney) has been in love with her co-worker Karl for many years, but hasn't made a move. Everyone knows it — even Karl knows it — but still doesn't do anything about it, until the company Christmas party. Imagine working side-by-side with someone who is definitely in love with you despite barely speaking to you and everyone knows it. Awkward.
When Karl and Sarah finally do hook up and go back to her place, Sarah decides to tend to her mentally ill brother Michael rather than have sex with Karl. In the end, Sarah chooses Michael over Karl, and while I understand her desire to put family first, after all these years, she's doing this at a detriment to herself. I think Sarah deserves — and needs — to start living her own life and put her own wants first.
4. American Women Are Portrayed As "Easy"
British bachelor Colin Frissel (Kris Marshall) decides to take a trip to the United States to find women who will find his accent charming. When he arrives in Milwaukee, Colin finds just that — three attractive women so taken with him that they invite him over to their bachelorette pad where they sleep naked and probably enact every other male fantasy about women. Granted, he meets these ladies in "an average American bar," but still — we American women aren't so easily seduced by a foreign accent and don't re-enact Victoria's Secret catalogs, OK?
5. Jamie's Proposal To Aurelia Is Way Too Soon
While writer Jamie (Colin Firth) works, Portuguese maid Aurelia takes care of the French cottage that he's staying in. They become attracted to each other over the course of that time, despite not speaking the same language. They part ways, kiss, and they study each others' languages while they're apart. On Christmas, Jamie decides to propose to Aurelia in France — in Portuguese. But isn't it a little too soon to be getting hitched? Don't they need some time to get to know each other first? I mean, they can finally speak the same language(s), so why not give that a shot first?
But hey, I still love this movie and I can't wait to watch it many times before Dec. 25.
Image: Studio Canal; Giphy