Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
Watch On
  1. 88
    The movie's only flaw is also a virtue: It's jammed with characters, stories, warmth and laughs, until at times Curtis seems to be working from a checklist of obligatory movie love situations and doesn't want to leave anything out.
  2. 75
    Appealing and genial with plenty of solid laughs, and worthy of a recommendation for those who appreciate this kind of thing. Just don't expect material that's edgy, dark, or challenging. Consider Love Actually the antidote to "Mystic River."
  3. 50
    Curtis ladles sugar over the eager-to-please Love Actually to make it go down easy, forgetting that sometimes it just makes you gag.
  4. It's a toasty, star-packed ensemble comedy in which a handful of lonelyhearts attempt, with some success, to come out of their shells, and it's going to make a lot of holiday romantics feel very, very good; watching it, I felt cozy and charmed myself.
  5. 70
    Frequently funny, generally fizzy and occasionally piercingly perceptive about the price love exacts.
  6. Cloying as much of this stuff is, it's not cynical. Curtis seems genuinely convinced that love is all around. Far be it from me to say otherwise. We don’t speak the same language.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Charming, if terribly overstuffed, vision of romantic London gridlock.
  8. A romantic comedy-drama has to make sense, though, and Love Actually doesn't, actually.
  9. Gets to be dislikable in its glib feelgoodness. The movie's many excellent actors do too much acting with too little conviction in scenes that rush through perfunctory setups to deliver pat payoffs.
  10. Though it would be dishonest to call this an unqualified success, it would be churlish not to tip the hat to Love Actually's genuine charm.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Love Actually is irresistible. You'd have to be Ebenezer Scrooge not to walk out smiling.
  12. At times soppy, sentimental and shamelessly romantic, at other moments bursting with clever barbs -- and now and then zooming in on something telling and poignant -- Love Actually is just about impossible to dislike.
  13. 78
    It's not so much the individual storylines that grab you, but Curtis’ unrelenting optimism. In the end, it's nice to know that love, actually, does conquer all.
  14. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    60
    It's too florid, too calculated, too too. Here's my emotional declaration: I love Richard Curtis' work. But I can't help feeling that the Bard of Embarrassment could use a touch more shame.
  15. 70
    Provides enough happy endings to make the audience forget that romance and Christmas miracles don't always work out.
  16. 50
    I would have hated Love Actually less if it had been a total, clumsy disaster; the problem is that Curtis does pull off some amazingly well-tuned moments, as well as some very funny ones.
  17. 70
    This is cloying, deceitful, and more or less irresistible.
  18. What's the message: that women must remain vigilant about poundage to keep husbands from chasing taut-thighed secretaries? That's a charitable Christmas thought.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    A roundly entertaining romantic comedy, Love Actually is still nearly as cloying as it is funny…its cheeky wit, impossibly attractive cast and sure-handed professionalism are beguiling.
  20. Structurally, Love Actually is less like "Four Weddings" than it is "Scary Movie 3." ­Curtis throws every gag he can think of at the screen and the ones that don't stick, he throws again and again.
  21. 40
    If listing the cast of Love Actually is exhausting, it's even more tiring to watch it.
  22. Overall, it pushes its "love is good" message with such insistence, so many cheery pop tunes, airport hugs, coincidences and teary smiles, that it feels like one long commercial. Surely love is a desirable enough commodity that it doesn't require such a hard sell.
  23. The film is an audience-pleaser, but very calculated and far from Curtis' best work: His script will go to any lengths to be cute, and his direction tends to be overly broad. In the end, he wears us out with the sheer volume of witty and endearing characters.
  24. Mind you, there's lots to like, if not love, in this London-set, star-studded comedy. Unfortunately, there's a little bit to hate, too.
  25. A patchwork of contrived naughtiness and forced pathos...The loose ends are neatly tied up, as they are when you seal a bag of garbage -- or if you prefer, rubbish.
  26. 50
    If you feel yourself glowing after Love Actually, you might be suffering from sugar shock.
  27. Reminds you of an elaborate Christmas card that tumbles apart with pop-up figures, silly/charming greetings and perhaps even a jingle. It probably cost more than the gift it heralds, and you can't help but laugh at the audacity of such an aggressively cheerful card.
  28. 70
    If you’re going to have your emotional responses shunted around like a gear stick, it might as well be by someone who writes dialogue as funny as Curtis does.
  29. When he isn't overreaching for absurdity, Curtis can write bouncy patter, but each character gets about 60 seconds before the movie jumps deck to the next love-seeker and the next moony pratfall.
  30. 75
    The biggest surprise in the cheery, delightful Love Actually is its lively, edgy, slightly blue sense of humor.
  31. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    Alternately beguiling and bloated, witty and warmed over, smart and pandering. The majority is likely to swoon; the minority will squirm their way through it.
  32. By far the best single performance in the film - and it is really, really terrific, utterly believable and moving - is by Emma Thompson. To the extent that there is genuine feeling in the movie that doesn't feel slickly manipulative, it's in the scenes involving her character.
  33. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    Enough of Curtis' lovably crazed characters do succeed in finding love in all the unlikely places that you leave the theater with your heart humming happily. He has his dark -- well, darkish -- side under control. Which is to say that he is an Englishman, well practiced in masking pain and absurdity and descents into sheer goofiness with mannerly behavior, sly irony and stiff upper lips.
  34. The film is in one sense lifelike: in order to get the good, we have to endure the lesser.
  35. Feels less like a brand-new movie than a greatest-hits compendium. It offers nothing new and instead makes do with presenting the warmed-over like something pulled fresh from the oven.
  36. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    50
    There were times watching this movie when I felt I was being force-fed 30 pounds of crème brûlée. Which isn’t to say I choked on every minute: I chortled heartily at the thread about the comeback of the washed-up rock star (Bill Nighy).
  37. 58
    Sometimes complicated, sometimes incredibly simple, the film explicates or fawns over the human condition with occasional charm and poignancy but too often it's just cloying.
  38. 50
    The movie grows more cloying and repetitive as it stretches well beyond two hours. Almost every main character boasts the same bashful, puppy-dog attitude toward romance.
  39. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    50
    Abandons any pretext of sophistication for gloppy sentimentality, sugary pop songs and bawdy humor -- an approach that works about half the time.
  40. Reviewed by: Caroline Westbrook
    60
    It’s a formula that works and, as crowd-pleasing mainstream Britcom goes, it’s a relatively solid, if flawed, entry into the genre.
  41. Reviewed by: Chris Barsanti
    50
    Ultimately, when Love Actually pulls out all the stops, which it does at least three times during the final smorgasbord of climaxes, it can be well nigh irresistible.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 101
  2. Negative: 11 out of 101
  1. MichaelJ.
    Dec 25, 2007
    10
    The occasional overdone moments are far outweighed by the heart touching warmth of this film. If you are looking for a deep dredging of of The occasional overdone moments are far outweighed by the heart touching warmth of this film. If you are looking for a deep dredging of of the human soul read Kafka or watch The Pianist. This is a light hearted reminder of some of the joy of life. And what's wrong with that? A good example of why one shouldn't listen to critics. Full Review »
  2. Jan 16, 2011
    10
    To all those who have watched it: I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.
    To all those who haven't watched it yet: what are you waiting for?
  3. Aug 17, 2010
    8
    Infused with the charm of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman ("Tim" from The Office UK), Liam Neeson, and many others, these loosely connected storiesInfused with the charm of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman ("Tim" from The Office UK), Liam Neeson, and many others, these loosely connected stories weave together to make one of the most endearing and funny rom coms of the past decade. Unlike its American counterpart, this film underplays (to the extent that that's possible with an all-star cast) its principle actors, bringing a much-needed aspect to the stories. Sure some of the tales are a bit cloying, and some are a tad unnecessary, but such is the folly of a modern romantic comedy. The stories don't always hit home with the feeling they're trying to convey. Having said that, one story in particular really impacted me emotionally- something few films ever do, especially romantic comedies. Two particular performances stand out in this movie. The first is Liam Neeson's character as a widower, whom I found to be extremely endearing. His evolving relationship with his stepson (Thomas Sangster) is a delight to watch. It turns out he has chops for family roles, too, and not just high-impact drama and action. Who knew? The other gem in this film is the more ephemeral but ever-present Bill Nighy, who plays a washed-up old hack of a singer/songwriter whose glory days are well behind him. Even he gets his own love story, but that takes a back seat to his hilarious scene-stealing lines peppered throughout the film. All in all, this film is a fun, charming watch, if not a perfect movie, and is well worth seeing if you have any love of romantic comedies. It also happens to be a no-brainer alternative to that Valentine's Day knockoff cal. Verdict: Movie Win (for rom com fans) Full Review »