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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 75
    The biggest surprise in the cheery, delightful Love Actually is its lively, edgy, slightly blue sense of humor.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Love Actually is irresistible. You'd have to be Ebenezer Scrooge not to walk out smiling.
  6. 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."
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Charming, if terribly overstuffed, vision of romantic London gridlock.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 50
    If you feel yourself glowing after Love Actually, you might be suffering from sugar shock.
  16. 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.
  17. A romantic comedy-drama has to make sense, though, and Love Actually doesn't, actually.
  18. 70
    Frequently funny, generally fizzy and occasionally piercingly perceptive about the price love exacts.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  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. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 70
    Provides enough happy endings to make the audience forget that romance and Christmas miracles don't always work out.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. The film is in one sense lifelike: in order to get the good, we have to endure the lesser.
  31. 70
    This is cloying, deceitful, and more or less irresistible.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 40
    If listing the cast of Love Actually is exhausting, it's even more tiring to watch it.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 98
  2. Negative: 11 out of 98
  1. Jan 8, 2014
    7
    Despite its length and some of its more contrived elements, "Love Actually" remains a brazen and compelling romantic comedy with a bevy of admirable performances. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2013
    2
    Watched it again, and this time I realized just how glitzy and poor this film is...Really appealed to my baser instincts when I first watched it....Everything warm and fuzzy at Christmas with a couple of "real" love stories...But beneath the coating of Hollywood style slickness, there lurks mediocrity, a lust substitute for love...Firth likes his maid's butt, Rickman loves to ogle his come on sexy secretary, and those were mild examples...A film of mostly male fantasies done in a "cute" simplistic way.....What a waste of talented actors....Liam Neeson was decent....And Linney's story is about love...Beneath the coating of sparkles and sleaze, lurks a mediocre film....Merry Christmas! Full Review »
  3. Apr 22, 2013
    7
    Love Actually brings a smile to my face. It's adorable when it needs to be and also creates some drama when it's important. It is now a style of movie that is very overdone but Love Actually was one of the firsts and it worked for it. I really liked Love Actually, there were adorable characters and they weaved them all in together perfectly. Full Review »