Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Love Actually' Open Thread

  What did you think?


  1. Christmas in London (and thereabouts) in the early twenty-first century in a blender--or maybe Cuisinart is more apt. But no matter how these Godless Euro-neo-socialists bollix* things up, you somehow just have to root for them to come to their senses and see the errors of their ways. How can you not love a movie where Mr. Bean is the invisible hand of moral reason and all-about general "Cupid" when and where appropriate, using his formidible superpowers of obsessive/compulsiveness? For all its faults, missteps, and political correctness (am I repeating myself?), this movie has a heart and genuine moments that will touch your hearts, and hopefully those will outweigh the rest and make this an enjoyable watch. I apologize to Cathy in advance for those "adult" moments. As our new friend Venerable Bede said (more eloquently) certain words exist soley to give offense. Maturity is knowing the proper circumstances to use them as they are intended. Along with nudity, there is a time and place for everything and a Christmas movie is not one of those.

    *Yes, I intentionally used the polite American variant rather than the rude English term "bollocks"--just like did Wilma Flintstone

  2. Wow, Darrell, I am so sorry I have not gotten to see this show again, but I have had Bren with me and we have been running all around. There are definitely parts that I really enjoyed and would love to comment on, and will when I get back.

  3. I thought I had scared everyone away and I didn't intend to. London (and Vancouver) felt like home to me at first sight, even though there is no reason in the world for this to be the case, so I have a soft spot for such movies.
    There are many memorable moments to treasure here and plenty of interesting sights.

  4. I'm sorry I don't have time to comment "for real" right now -- but I can at least tell you that I like the movie a lot, and the more serious parts were probably even better that the simply humorous story lines.

    Now, how to watch it again with my sister, without the kids... or my parents?

  5. Does your DVD have the alternate version for TV/airline use? Some do. Access the menu and check.

  6. Start us off Darrell. We'll get their soon. What did you like about it, what parts were the most fun, did any one of the stories speak to you in any way or did you think was particularly well done? What of the production itself?

    There are a number of stories which thread along in the course of the movie, and I am cheating now because I am going by memory, but one of my favorite threads was of the older rocker has been who manages to connect with a good Christmas song and climbs up the charts past the snotty new kids to reach number one. At first I had little to no interest in that guy, but by the time we got to the end, I just really enjoyed the pleasure he felt in coming back from being utterly discarded and forgotten to being recognized again. That was a great thread.

  7. And Mr. Bean wrapping the gift - here is this guy anxiously attempting to avoid getting caught, and Mr. Bean making such a ceremony of wrapping the gift that it just drives Alan Rickman's character crazy - that was good fun.

  8. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Just lost a long one!
    Bah Humbug!

    Save the comment anway, Blogger! I was signed in to Google, you twits.

  9. Rufus (Mr. Bean/Rowan Atkinson) appears to be intentionally trying to foil Rickman's folly. The proof of that is at the airport where he provides the diversion for Sam to get around security and gives a knowing wink to Liam Neeson.
    He knows things he could not possibly know.

  10. The most touching story is with Laura Linny (Sarah). I love her conversation with Rickman about her time at the firm and the amount of time she's been in love with Karl. Too bad he turns out to be such a wanker. How can he not see her lonleness/isolation in her role as caretaker with obligations. What, he couldn't offer to share a taxi with her to keep her comapny on the rise to the hospital? Tell her to stop by after? I know he was a loser when she told him to come up on the count of ten and he did--exactly. Everyone knows that means at least thirty seconds, maybe a minute. My favorite part when when she excused herself for a second to go around the corner of the hallway and do her happy dance.

  11. My favorite part when when she excused herself for a second to go around the corner of the hallway and do her happy dance.

    Oh, I did love that moment of pure joy! (I also loved the "ten seconds" of stashing and stowing to made her room presentable.) But I am wondering whether we should write off Karl and the two+ years of love from afar, or whether we are supposed to understand that Karl recognizes, and knows he can't fight, an excessive protectiveness of the brother, and reactivity to his demands. I really don't want that to be the end of their story.

    Colin Firth's writer finding love when he least expected was awfully cute. And I like the idea of coming to care for someone based on simply experiencing his or her personality, and whatever strengths or foibles there may be, without the rationalized, justified, or... adjusted, versions of ourselves we tell without even realizing it.

    The story line about the aging rocker, and his Christmas song winning top spot due to more his outrageous behavior than the merits of the song, was a funny poke at pop culture, made rather lovely by the conclusion with him recognizing how much his "fat manager" meant to him.

    Oh -- back later. The boys are stomping their way back up to the house (we have just over a foot of snow here) and everything is going to get much livelier in a minute!

  12. "I knew he was a loser when she told him to come up on the count of ten and he did--exactly. Everyone knows that means at least thirty seconds, maybe a minute. "

    I love these kind of comments we get from Darrell!

  13. Karl is a write off--she dodged a bullet.
    ¿ Rellenar el cannoli ? Sí. Accomodate her needs? No.

    Colin Frissell's Wisconsin adventures were a bridge-too-far. January Jones (Mad Men) and three others? C'mon. Not even in an Englishman's fantasy.

  14. And that scene, with Joe hesitantly laughing off Billy's endearments -- not wanting to "fall for it" but wishing it were real -- until he's finally convinced, was one of the best moments in the movie. Gregor Fisher made me hurt for Joe in his uncertainty as much as I delighted in his joy.

    Every time I see Emma Thompson in something I love her more. (Please, NEVER tell me anything about her personal life.) Her enjoyment of the absurd ("There was more than one lobster at the birth of Jesus?") -- without deflating her daughter's happiness -- was so perfect. And then she is just as perfect as a woman discovering the most foul betrayal, and having to get herself together enough to pass for normal when she rejoins her family -- excruciating.

    I loved the way Karen confronts Harry after the pageant , especially the how-worried-should-I-be bit (Is it just a necklace? A necklace and sex? Or worst of all, a necklace and love?) And the part about his making her -- and the life she's built -- ridiculous. So much truth in so few words. Fantastic. And I really appreciated their airport scene -- she's "alright," but there's a long way to go before she rushes into his arms again.

    I do think they did a good job of showing how extremely blunt the siren's call can be; how incredibly difficult it can be for a man when a woman launches such a formidable assault. But I still can't believe that idiot didn't recognize Divine Intervention in the guise of the Gift-Wrap Man, and quit while he was ahead!

    As cute as Hugh Grant's story line was, his P.M. was maybe a little too cute -- I don't know how old he was supposed to be, but Karen calls him her "big brother" -- but he seemed too young to me. Martine McCutcheon was great as Natalie, but I don't think her character, being so poor at impulse control, could really have been hired into a position of visible responsibility. I must say, though, that Billy Bob Thornton as the US President rather made my blood run cold.

    But my favorite story was Daniel and Sam, who had only step-affection and good will to get them through the loss of wife and mother -- and the torments of first love. Daniel catches himself quickly when he starts to scoff "Aren't you a little young ..." and from then on, he treats it as the serious business it is to Sam. (Who was completely irresistible, BTW.) And the advice, to give it everything, so as to never regret not having tried, and to say "I love you" every chance you get. Beautiful. And they were beautiful together. I loved watching their relationship grow, and the way Sam could truly share his happiness with Daniel at the end.

    The story that got me pondering the most was the thread about the bride and the best friend. It was a lovely story, each of them trying to do their best to support the groom's relationship with the other. Then Juliet discovers Mark's feelings for her, to his distress and embarrassment. So I have a questions for, anybody: Does Mark come to see her with his cue-cards because he needs to tell her how he feels about her, or because he needs to regain some sense of control in the situation?

  15. You mean Billy Bob Thorton as George W. Bush (acting like Bill Clinton was never acknowledged to act toward women). The Brits used to be subtle: The Left never is. What a disappointment Tony Blair must have been to them, especially getting elected with Bill Clinton's recycled speeches and campaign staff.

    There there's the sublety of the dinosaur standing in for Baby Jesus as the kids rehearse at home. Emma Thompson is a year older than Hugh Grant so the "other brother" bit isn't too big of a stretch. A Christmas gift for Emma or an inside "family" joke about physical height? No matter.

    Mark's bit with the cards was a simple act of selfishness (as these things always are), nothing more. We've all been there and you keep it to yourself once the ship has sailed. The best man would surely have heard the "forever hold your piece" warning [if it were even mentioned in PC Britain]. The writer
    probably didn't even see that Juliet's kiss was a betrayal. When it happens to him he surely will.

    Since we saw that Mia lived next door to Natalie in the "dodgey" section of that borough, I think we are supposed to think that she just wanted to move up and on. If the P.M. would knock on a hundred doors rather than place a call to the local police for the address, I guess we can believe anything.

  16. "Does Mark come to see her with his cue-cards because he needs to tell her how he feels about her, or because he needs to regain some sense of control in the situation?"

    Darrell takes a harsh view of the actions of the young man, and he may very well be in the right of it, but I am holding out hope. He had loved this young woman silently for some time, and masked his feelings with his gruff and defensive demeanor. Once discovered it left him known without understanding. The general theme of the movie was to be bold and express your feelings, regardless of the consequence. 'Love is all around you.' The unfinished business for his character was to actually declare what she had unwittingly discovered on her own. He did so, and then purposed to move on. That I can appreciate.

    I would say he never should have allowed himself the luxury of thinking about this young gal, other than to note that she was the kind of girl he might like to meet, and take some encouragement that people are in fact out there that he could fall in love with. The filming and photographing of your best friend's fiance is definitely a bad idea, but I have had my share of bad ideas as well. It comes with being a young man.

    The story I really liked was the one with Colin Firth. His halting efforts to communicate with her, his appreciation for her, his consideration for her family, and the very nice way in which he asked her to marry him. For a small little love story, I thought it was very pleasant.

    As to scenes, my absolute favorite was Hugh Grant's arrival at the school, and the very glad reception he received from his sister, who so needed to see someone that loved her unconditionally, and always would. I also thought it was fun to see Hugh Grant do the dance routine in the state house (he's a pretty good dancer!), and I loved the manner in which Liam Neeson sought to encourage his step son, taking him seriously, listening to him, and encouraging him.

    Very nice show.

  17. What do you say to 'The Graduate' as the next show?

  18. Yes!

    This is another one of the various movies it is ridiculous to have never seen. :)

  19. Ah, good. It's 1967 then, and the world is full of questions, and the future seems... uncertain.