Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Warning: never, ever watch the movie Love Actually. I can't really describe the depths of awfulness in this "romantic comedy" but here are a few signs that you have recently sold your soul to the landlord of Hades:

You use Altmanesque technique but run out of time so you jam all the characters into an airport at the end so that it seemed like there was interconnectedness within the film and characters.

You hire Hugh Grant.

Anorexic actresses and fat jokes litter the film but you insinuate that Hugh Grant, the Prime Minister of Britain, overlooks the chubber factor even though his target of affection actually is as thin as a rail.

You chicken out on the gay relationship even though the two men say they love each other and spend all of their time together.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is presented as the center of loose supermodels with southern accents?!

The editing is so choppy that in some scenes it seems that in mid sentence we have moved on.

Colin Firth meets his beautiful Ugly Duckling/Cinderella Portuguese maid at his Italian villa the day after he moves there the week after he caught is wife cheating with his brother and flies to her IN PORTUGAL at the last minute on Christmas Eve without a reservation after showing up at his relatives house and then proposes to her at her job with the entire town behind him in cutesy broken Portuguese with insipid swelling music as a back drop!

One of the characters, a mute it seems because he never speaks a word in the film, is in love with his best friend's anorexic wife and shows up at their door on Christmas Eve and professes his love for her, on oak tag and marker!, while insipid music plays in the background that was brought along by the mute via a boom box. And she thinks this is cute and kisses him!

Young malnourished boy who's mother just died, I am not making this up, learns to play the drums in one week, storms through security at Heathrow within a year of 9/11 and is allowed by security, because they are cute, to talk to the young American pop star that just happened to go to his school along with every other child in the film (even though they are from wildly different class backgrounds) so that we could have a culminating scene where the entire cast, sans Colin Firth who is now in Portugal!, can see the Prime Minister exposed kissing his not so chubby working class girl friend on stage.

American accented Laura Linney stops having sex with three accented supermodel workmate because her physically abusive retarted brother, who happens to be housed in a British psych hospital?, calls all the time while she is working, eating, not having sex which she is more than willing to indulge becuase she is so......

I can't go on,



IFStone said...

Good review, and funny. I read it to Jill and we both had almost forgotten the movie, except for the many confusing bits. I do remember thinking, so, are those two gay or not??? It was a cop out. If I remember right, the Hugh Grant PM does stand up to the pushy American President, so that might be a plus.
Yah, and they obviously thought Milwaukee was in the South.
Strange movie, actually. Plenty of talent in the cast (Hugh isn't that bad) but the final result was mush.

Hey, we saw Brokeback Mountain last week. Now there's a film with no cop outs.

anton said...

I haven't seen BBM. My sense however is that the Right may have something here when they say Hollywood celebrates certain cultural themes; fruit cups. It seems like this is a typical story of forbidden, ehem fruit, in a classic American landscape. This being said, Ang Lee is one of the most versatile and talented directors ever. Eat Drink Man Women is one of my all time favorites and he does a great Jane Austin.

My favorite film with a gay love story, not the main theme, is Happy Together (see margin to the right) by Wong Kar-wai. And let's not forget Spartucus, not that there is....

anton said...

Yes, PM Grant, no US Grant I might add-now that guy knew how to pick up a hooker, he actually hung out with General Hooker, did snub President Billy Bob but that was exactly what was wrong with the film in general; they mocked selling out(the Robert Palmer parody)and tried to put forward a position of no compromise when it comes to love (the little boy, the mute, the Colin Firth) and life (Laura Linney and PM Grant) but the film in the end pandered to every cliche imaginable (the editing, music, fantastic sitcom, the skinny chicks).

OscarTate said...

Right on target. The very first scene, as the title credits came up, without the sound, as I recall, was pretty good stuff. I think it was candid pictures of everyday people at the airport hugging. It was nice to see actual humans on screen with genuine emotion. Then, for the next 90 minutes, I witnessed such thoroughly manipulative cliched "shite" that I felt abused. But I was at least reminded that there is something beautiful about actual humans.

IFStone said...

Anton, I would encourage you to see the movie (Brokeback); I don't think it was typical hollywood at all. From my perspective the main cutural themes of Hollywood are: a)violence fixes everything, and b) anyone can have a wonderful love relationship as long as they look like a model (as your comments about LA note).
Hollywood does tend to promote the underdog and tolerance, and luv, etc etc etc, but I'm not sure that's a Hollywood thing so much as a universal human thing.