If you happened to be one of the thousands of fans who asked Santa for a sequel to Love Actually last Christmas, the big fella in red has finally delivered. Well, kind of. The sequel is going to be a short film called Red Nose Actually made for the Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day fundraiser, which airs in the U.K. on March 24. And before you start desperately Skyping your Great Aunt Ethel over in London and begging her to broadcast it to you live, just chill — NBC is screening it on May 25 as part of their Red Nose Day Special. And if, like me, your brain is currently going haywire over the biggest question the Love Actually sequel needs to answer (we all have one), then this news is perfect.
With an original script by Richard Curtis, the man behind the 2003 classic, the movie will reunite actors Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Martine McCutcheon, Andrew Lincoln, Lúcia Moniz, Olivia Olson, Marcus Brigstocke, and Rowan Atkinson. So, it's a big deal, you guys. They aren't playing around here. Curtis said in a statement,
Which, yes, fine, that all sounds great. Except, that's totally not the biggest question, is it? I mean, there's a multitude of questions more important than "who has aged best?" that were left lingering. Specifically, the biggest question the Love Actually sequel needs to answer concerns a certain bride and a man who definitely wasn't her groom.
That's right, I'm talking about the long debated storyline between Mark (a pre-Walker slaying Lincoln) and Juliet (my forever babe, Knightley). Long debated, because, well, the Mark and Juliet story in Love Actually was a little creepy actually. But it also teased the possibility that maybe one day Juliet might leave her husband Peter for Mark (who also happened to be Peter's best friend).
In the unlikely event that you haven't rewatched this movie recently, allow me to briefly recap some important details. Mark is tasked with filming the wedding of Juliet and Peter, a task he royally messes up because he spends the whole time simply zooming in on Juliet's lovely face rather than focusing on the actual wedding. She sees the footage, feels bad for him, but is pretty chill, all things considered.
And, of course, Mark returns this chillness by exhibiting absolutely zero chill on Juliet's doorstep, armed with a CD player and a series of note cards declaring his undying, unrequited love. Including a little drawing of her as a skeleton. Because apparently, love isn't always sunshine and sprinkles.
Not only is Juliet not really freaked out by any of this, but she actually rewards his actions with a big, old smooch. In the middle of the street. Before returning back to the home she shares with her husband.
But, then what? You just know that there was more to the story beyond this point, and you can bet it gets interesting.
Because, let's be real: As Peter's best friend, Mark is going to be around a lot. He's going to be getting drunk at the pub with them, popping over for dinner, and celebrating their wedding anniversary like a good friend. That's a whole lot of potential awkwardness. And if, as Juliet's kiss seemed to indicate, the feelings were somewhat reciprocal, there would also be an added layer of sexual tension.
If Mark was making grand, romantic, and secret gestures before Juliet kissed him, then imagine how bad things got after she planted one on him. I can only imagine that he became unbearable.
So really, there's two massive questions regarding this scenario that I desperately need answering in the Love Actually sequel. The first is simply: Did anything more happen between these two characters, or were they able to put aside their respective feelings and never explore them again?
The second is related and possibly more important. That's whether or not Mark, after 14 years, feels incredibly embarrassed about his actions. Whether he ended up with Juliet is besides the point. On some level, he must look back on what he did and just monumentally cringe. I know I would. There's a long overdue apology which needs to be written to Juliet. Hopefully not in permanent marker across a series of giant note cards, though.
That's the closure I think many conflicted female fans truly need from this sequel. And considering that both Knightley and Lincoln are signed up to star in the short, I remain hopeful for a scene in which Mark can acknowledge how utterly weird and creepy his actions were — and that he finds the courage to apologize. And maybe then, I can finally learn to love his character and make peace with that part of the movie.