movie film review | chris tookey

Love Actually

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  Love Actually Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
5.70 /10
Hugh Grant , Liam Neeson , Colin Firth
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Directed by: Richard Curtis
Written by: Richard Curtis

Released: 2003
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: GB
Colour: C
Length: 128

MIXED Reviews

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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. At 129 minutes, it feels a little like a gourmet meal that turns into a hot-dog eating contest... Nighy steals the movie, especially in the surprising late scene where he confesses genuine affection for (we suspect) the first time in his life... The movie has to hop around to keep all these stories alive, and there are a couple I could do without. I'm not sure we need the wordless romance between Colin Firth, as a British writer, and Lucia Moniz, as the Portuguese maid who works in his cottage in France. Let's face it: The scene where his manuscript blows into the lake and she jumps in after it isn't up to the standard of the rest of the movie.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
Love Actually doesn't have a cynical frame in its celluloid. It's for all those romantics who think there aren't enough happy endings. Richard Curtis' movie dips so deep into the well of feel-good sentiment that it will threaten to send some audience members into sugar shock. There are times when all of this goodwill feels a tad forced and artificial (such as at the ending), but, on balance, Love Actually is 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.
(James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
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.
(Todd McCarthy, Variety)
Rather sprawling in its portrayal of several love stories, the film strikes some appeal at times, and misses the mark at others - all the while somehow managing to present itself in a charming manner. With not much time to actually get to know the characters, excellent actors come to the call, and in fact, most do a find job there... The kid in the octopus costume earns the biggest laugh, Billy Nighy as the self-deprecating, washed-up rock artist is a close second. Otherwise, the film swings sometimes abruptly from light-hearted to broken-hearted serious - averaging itself out with lows and highs in both drama and humor.
(Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card)
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.
(David Ansen, Newsweek)
Depressingly upbeat... On one hand, I'd like to congratulate Curtis for making a movie featuring 10 significant story threads that isn't as jumpy and uneven as you might expect from a first-time director. One the other hand, I deplore him for taking this very smart cast and occasionally degrading them into humor and situations usually found in dreck like My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Since I don't have any hands left, I guess I'll have to use a foot to apply a crushing blow to Curtis's swimsuit region for literally forcing the audience to applaud several times at the end of Actually.
(Jon Popick, Planet Sick-Boy)
Inevitably, some strands are almost forgotten and actors underused. A soft focus Short Cuts, the movie lacks the layered fluency of Robert Altman's work - or the hard edge. But while there's enough treacle to turn a bee diabetic, it is not without raw emotional moments - with Thompson outstanding in a tear-duct tingling scene. You can almost see Curtis pressing the emotional buttons, but he does it so well you won't care. Warm, bittersweet and hilarious, this is lovely, actually. Prepare to be smitten.
(Nev Pierce, BBCi)

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