Universal Pictures | Release Date: November 7, 2003
8.7
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Universal acclaim based on 306 Ratings
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Positive:
268
Mixed:
25
Negative:
13
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8
shiftworkerNov 30, 2016
Romantic comedy. A montage of believable characters fall in love in a showcase of Britishness. The ultimate Christmas feel-good movie. Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play their usual neurotic parts and there's a classic cameo fromRomantic comedy. A montage of believable characters fall in love in a showcase of Britishness. The ultimate Christmas feel-good movie. Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play their usual neurotic parts and there's a classic cameo from Rowan Atkinson. Expand
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7
SpangleNov 21, 2016
Cute, charming, and indelibly sweet, Love Actually may be a bit too rich for some due to its wide-armed embrace of movie romance cliches and absurdities, but for those willing to go along with it, the film is a true joy. Setting it duringCute, charming, and indelibly sweet, Love Actually may be a bit too rich for some due to its wide-armed embrace of movie romance cliches and absurdities, but for those willing to go along with it, the film is a true joy. Setting it during Christmas is a stroke of genius as director Richard Curtis expertly matches the joy, spirit, and magic of the season with that of love, while being unafraid of showing of the dirty, messy, and painful side of love. Through love lost via relationship missteps or death, love found via unexpected avenues, or unrequited love, Love Actually is a breathtaking and expansive look at love that tremendously develops its character. Plus, what a cast! Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, and January Jones, all appear in Curtis' largest romantic production yet. While I do prefer his more grounded looks at love in Notting Hill and About Time, Love Actually is still a joyful experience.

Truly, the greatest accomplishment here are the characters. For such a large cast of intertwined people, Love Actually jumps quite easily from character-to-character and story-to-story while drawing lines between each and giving each character room to breathe. From Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant), a former playboy looking to finally settle down when he meets Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) to Billy Mack (Bill Nighy), a former heroin addict rock star who realizes love may not be for him, Love Actually's character range is expansive and each romance is well-developed. Though often giving way to cliche, particularly with 11-year old Sam running through the airport to find the "love of his life", Love Actually manages to rise above the cliches by somehow exploiting them perfectly. In a lesser film, running through the airport to find a girl would have bothered me greatly. Here, however, the film manages to make it into an explosive climax, symbolizing the hurdles experienced by all characters in the film trying to find their love with the big, adorable pay-off.

Of all the characters, it is hard to choose a favorite. Billy Mack is great, of course, but one of the best pairings is John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page). Each encounter between the duo embodies the sweet and charming nature of the rest of the film, as well as the clumsiness and awkward nature experienced by the other characters. Though given relatively little screentime, their quick chemistry and immediate romantic charm make them an enjoyable couple to watch progress during the film. This duo really shows the charm of the film and how effective it can be at drawing pathos. We barely see this duo and yet, their encounters are entirely memorable and incredibly well handled.

Love Actually's willingness to embrace cliche may be its biggest turn off for many, but for myself, it was one of the best pieces. On their own, each story would certainly crumble if extended into a whole film. Together, however, they soar as little snippets into a variety of people's love lives. As a whole, it is a vignette and love letter to love and all of its ills and joys.

Now, Love Actually is imperfect. By not focusing on any single character, it does limit itself somewhat. Though a great vignette into love as a whole, one of the best parts of any romance film is being along for the whole ride. By jumping from character-to-character, Love Actually deprives its audience of this element and, as a result, the climax is not as infectious as it could have been. Still a great climax, but a bit stunted compared to the others works by Curtis.

Love Actually is a bold and ambitious look at love by director Richard Curtis. Pairing him with a tremendous and large cast, the film is a beautiful take on the matter and really delves into all that it can bring. That said, its large cast and numerous characters, though well-written, can be both a gift and a curse given the genre of the film. Though we become connected to each character here, the beauty of the romantic film is the journey, not just the beginning, little bits in the middle, and the ending. For it to be truly satisfactory, you must eat the whole pie, not just a slice.
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9
BarneyOnMTOct 31, 2016
WHAT I LIKED: I cried, I smiled and I laughed. 'Love actually' is the very peak of this genre; a classy, emotionally rewarding, thematic and genuinely hilarious ride. This is only made possible though because it's incredible cast all bringWHAT I LIKED: I cried, I smiled and I laughed. 'Love actually' is the very peak of this genre; a classy, emotionally rewarding, thematic and genuinely hilarious ride. This is only made possible though because it's incredible cast all bring their A-games; bringing to life each well-developed character to the extent that you really care about each one. As a result this film could also be considered a lesson in handling multiple characters in one space whilst still making narrative sense, for it succeeds hugely there too.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Having said that (whilst you could argue that love is the grounding feature here) it's narrative has no obvious central points to grab hold of.
VERDICT: It's a wonder it's so good when it's so chock-full, but this is by far the best rom-com I've seen in a while. What a surprisingly charming movie.
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5
PetitBikiniOct 29, 2016
I like how this films description calls it "the ultimate romantic comedy". Well, it actually is that. But "Love Actually" doesn't only have the sweetness and romance of the romantic comedies but also the overwhelming cheesiness andI like how this films description calls it "the ultimate romantic comedy". Well, it actually is that. But "Love Actually" doesn't only have the sweetness and romance of the romantic comedies but also the overwhelming cheesiness and predictability which in the end trump the positive attributes of the film. Expand
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8
heeldavidDec 29, 2014
Love Actually is a very funny and joyful rom-com that is going to be remembered for ages, it's better than most of the other rom-com's of today. I totally recommend this one.
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6
JacobDec 15, 2014
While this wasn’t my flick it was still engaging. I thought the film had an interesting premise and this was a film viewing experience I’ve never had. Some of the relationships worked, the film had a good cast, and the presentation was good.While this wasn’t my flick it was still engaging. I thought the film had an interesting premise and this was a film viewing experience I’ve never had. Some of the relationships worked, the film had a good cast, and the presentation was good. I guess I’m just too into romantic films and I’m not British so a lot of the British humor probably went over my head. If you are a girl though in the mood for a nice feel good romantic comedy to watch around the holidays this will do. Also, act fast because this is leaving Netflix at the end of the month and is it true that on Christmas you tell the truth. Expand
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6
beingryanjudeSep 2, 2014
There are countless ensemble comedies such as this--some of them actually quite successful. Love Actually contains some wonderfully connected stories but, unfortunately, too many of them.
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7
Compi24Jan 8, 2014
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.
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2
maggymayDec 21, 2013
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 theWatched 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! Expand
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7
sammieteeApr 22, 2013
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. ILove 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. Expand
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4
SwatiFeb 7, 2013
There are better movies of two hours length. I loved Bill Nighy's performance, however, as well as Linney's. Mark's love for Juliet was poignant. Little Sam's story might also have worked as a subplot. Rest of the stories were trash.
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4
cameronmorewoodNov 12, 2012
I can see how it would have seemed great as an idea. You tell a bunch of short stories involving the various stages of love featuring a varying cast, and then connect everyone, expecting your audience to be enlightened. They aren't, becauseI can see how it would have seemed great as an idea. You tell a bunch of short stories involving the various stages of love featuring a varying cast, and then connect everyone, expecting your audience to be enlightened. They aren't, because Love Actually, actually doesn't work, not to mention that its a good half hour too long. Expand
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2
kingshahidNov 11, 2011
Maybe I'm not english so I missed the jokes - but it was not romantic or comedic. An hour in I was bored to shreds .... Kiera Knightly was the only interesting thing for me in this movie.... but worth sitting 2hrs for without being delvedMaybe I'm not english so I missed the jokes - but it was not romantic or comedic. An hour in I was bored to shreds .... Kiera Knightly was the only interesting thing for me in this movie.... but worth sitting 2hrs for without being delved into the story. Collapse
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10
RoeylJan 16, 2011
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?
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2
NoannsSep 28, 2010
When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.
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8
MovieFailAug 17, 2010
Infused 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 itsInfused 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) Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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1
T.M.Oct 18, 2009
I am only giving this movie a 1 for the great cast, though I can't imagine what any of them were thinking. This movie was horrible. I want that 2 1/2 (!) hours of my life back. Friends whose taste I trust actually recommended this piece I am only giving this movie a 1 for the great cast, though I can't imagine what any of them were thinking. This movie was horrible. I want that 2 1/2 (!) hours of my life back. Friends whose taste I trust actually recommended this piece of crap to me. Just to start ... I don't think even in America could someone has idiotic as Hugh Grant's character be elected to lead the country. If Laura Linney's character liked her hunky co-worker so much, why the hell didn't she turn off her' cellphone when she finally lured him to her bed? (And her storyline was left hanging.) Why did the subplot with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman seem to be about humiliating Emma's character? Why did Keira Knightly marry the black guy if she really wanted the other guy? And how convenient that in a huge city like London, all the children iin the story went to the same school. The movie's music was horrible, especially the little girl who was forced to sing like an American Idol reject. Were they going for the absurd when the so-so looking guy went to America and was overwhelmed with attention from prospective Playboy playmates? And the oh-so-cuteness of Colin Firth's character's and the maid's trying to communicate. The porn star body-double couple hardly had a story. But then, the stars of the movie hardly had a story. Hugh Grant's dancing-in-his underwear/"Risky Business" ripoff was unforgivable, as was the misogyny of the middle-aged men ending up with women half their ages who had been their servants. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful
9
LizTApr 21, 2009
Isn't this comment website suppose to be opinionated? If you like the movie, that is great, if you don't, well that is how you just see it. There isn't any need to say things that you have lost your respect for people, becasue Isn't this comment website suppose to be opinionated? If you like the movie, that is great, if you don't, well that is how you just see it. There isn't any need to say things that you have lost your respect for people, becasue it is jsut a movie, it doesn't mean anything. But on the otehr hand, i did like this movie, it was hilarious. A downer i thought of the movie is that i really saw how the creators, directors or whoever TRIED to make some of the characters seem funnier than they really were. But i would like to ask ANYONE who knew what the music was called when the Prime Minister and the President were in a Press Confrence and the Prime Minister was stating that he will not tolerate the Presidents 'bullying' towards the the PM. Expand
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10
MichaelJ.Dec 25, 2007
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 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. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful
8
AngelaFeb 23, 2006
I think most of these postings fail to take into consideration one of the prime motivations for going to the movies: escape. The film is, admittedly, fluffy but I don't know that Curtis was out to make Citizen Kane. It's a romantic I think most of these postings fail to take into consideration one of the prime motivations for going to the movies: escape. The film is, admittedly, fluffy but I don't know that Curtis was out to make Citizen Kane. It's a romantic comedy, a genre not particularly well known for its grounded realism. (And furthermore, why is it the case that only crushing hearbreak is considered "real"? Have none of you been in love?) Ultimately, I'm most disappointed in my peer-reviewers disillusionment. Perhaps this jaded perspective speaks more to your personal experiences than the film in question and I just think that's terribly sad. Expand
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5
MichaelL.Jan 7, 2006
I really wanted to like this movie. I feel terribly cynical trashing it, and that's why I'm giving it a middling 5. Actually, I'm giving it a 5 because there were some superb performances--Emma Thompson, Laura Linney and Bill I really wanted to like this movie. I feel terribly cynical trashing it, and that's why I'm giving it a middling 5. Actually, I'm giving it a 5 because there were some superb performances--Emma Thompson, Laura Linney and Bill Nighy among them. But, my God, what a maudlin mish-mash of overbaked optimism! I loved the film best when reality took over--which was all too rare: Linney's hopeless romance, Collin Firth walking away from his linguistically-challenged infatuation. Thompson's initial heartbreak. It was real, bittersweet, and true. When I had to suffer through yet another bumbling romantic performance by Hugh Grant (who, besides Americans, would elect someone this idiotic to their land's highest office?), a school play that looked like the finale of "American Idol", and a wedding that resembled the parade sequence of "Hello Dolly", I was actually angry. At its best, "Love Actually" is sweet and true and optimistic. At its worst--as it often is--"Love Actually" is manipulative, unbelievable, and just plain stupid. I think a 4 is a better vote...actually. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
GeorgiaD.Feb 14, 2004
Beautiful, sickening, deliriously funny yet uncontrollably upsetting, Love Actually is the ultimate rom-com by Richard Curtis, who also brought us Four Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones' Diary. Although I spent 3/4 of Beautiful, sickening, deliriously funny yet uncontrollably upsetting, Love Actually is the ultimate rom-com by Richard Curtis, who also brought us Four Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones' Diary. Although I spent 3/4 of the movie wiping the tears from my ridiculously sensitive eyes, a heartwarming film nevertheless, and one of very few films which I intend to buy the second it comes out on DVD. Forget what the NYT or the Wall Street Journal has to say, hear it from a normal single woman with normal feelings - this is a beautiful film which will have you smiling and wiping the tears away in no time. Includes some brilliant moments, such as the porn star story, the little boy who's in love and the single English guy who decides to find love in America, yet has some terribly chin-shaking moments such as when Keira Knightley's character realises ..... and the Liam Neeson's wife's funeral. Just don't forget plenty of tissues! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
HannahR.Dec 7, 2003
It was OK. I don't see why everyone loves it so much. It wasn't very smart or deep or well-directed. I usually check out the customer reviews b/c after Seabiscuit and A Beautiful Mind I realized that I could not trust reviewers any It was OK. I don't see why everyone loves it so much. It wasn't very smart or deep or well-directed. I usually check out the customer reviews b/c after Seabiscuit and A Beautiful Mind I realized that I could not trust reviewers any more, so I decided to use these user ratings, woops. I feel like this post board for this movie has become a bash-board for whoever Robert Plant is, he did some review I guess. The movie was pretty retarded but I walked out kinda happy, I still feel like I wasted my time. I liked the actors and their stories, even though some of them were really boring and uninteresting. I'm from the UK and I don't see how this movie could've offended some people... I spoke to a crew member on the film and he said that there were many moments where he could hear many cast members or crew members complaining about the character development, I couldn't agree more. It's a dopey, ditsy, light-as-a-feather holiday movie, no more, like a mediocre Christmas Special. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful