LOVE ACTUALLY

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: November 07, 2003

Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma
Thompson, Alan Rickman, Laura
Linney, Keira Knightly, Bill
Nighy, Denise Richards, Rowan
Atkinson, and many cameos

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Jan
Stallones LOVE ACTUALLY is
promoted as the feel-good
comedy for the holiday season
along the lines of ABOUT A BOY
and KNOTTING HILL, but don’t
be deceived by the trailers
and ads. This is a very adult
comedy, and a disappointing
one at that. Hugh Grant plays
the Prime Minister of England,
newly installed at 10 Downing
Street, but he is by no means
the star of this star packed
movie. LOVE ACTUALLY is a
series of vignettes, such as:
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson
as a married couple dealing
with temptation and
infidelity; Keira Knightly as
a radiant newlywed who finds
her husband’s best man is in
love with her; Bill Nighy as a
washed up rocker with an awful
new Christmas hit trying to
regain stardom; Liam Neeson,
who has lost his wife and is
helping his stepson navigate
his first love; AND MORE!
Actually, one of LOVE
ACTUALLY’s problems is that
there are too many stories and
far too much time between each
one to really engage
viewers. LOVE ACTUALLY begins
with the song “Love is All
Around Us,” and the new
Prime Minister (Grant) sets
the story going when he almost
immediately falls for an
attendant Natalie, who enters
his service shrieking the
“f” word, very much like
the opening of FOUR WEDDINGS
AND A FUNERAL. From that
moment, the audience is
whirled into a cast of
characters related (Emma
Thompson is the Prime
Minister’s sister) and not
related, as they all negotiate
relationships in their own
lives. Alan Rickman,
Thompson’s husband, is
tempted by an office assistant
who literally spreads her legs
and dresses in a devil costume
at a Christmas party to seduce
him. Bill Nighy is very funny
as an aging rocker, but much
of his humor revolves around
drug use and sexual bawdiness
as he attempts to outdo
England’s top band for the
hit record of the season. Two
characters play body doubles
for a porn production company
and their scenes are among the
raunchiest yet seen in a
mainstream movie. Although
they simulate sex, they are
completely naked, and there
are full and lengthy shots of
breasts, graphic simulated sex
motions, and nude fondling. It
is shot for humor, as they are
dispassionately portraying
these scenes, but the
explicitness is shocking and
rather sickening. Even more
shocking was the laughter of
the movie audience around us.
Another character plays a
young British gent who
believes, if he goes to
America, women will be wild
about him (like Prince
William). He ends up in a bar
in Wisconsin, later having sex
with four women
simultaneously. As mentioned
earlier, there are far too
many stories, and the swelling
music invites viewers to be
touched time and time again,
but there were a few vignettes
in LOVE, ACTUALLY that had a
good message. Although
Rickman’s character is
tempted to betray his wife,
writer Curtis treats the
subject appropriately, showing
the damage done all around in
such affairs, and the way the
story is handled upholds
biblical truths about
marriage. In another story, a
young writer goes to France to
work on a book and falls in
love with his Portuguese
housekeeper. Neither can speak
the other’s language, and a
truly sweet love story
follows. Keira Knightly’s
storyline also deals with
fidelity in an appropriate
manner. Daniel (Liam Neeson)
has a touching relationship
with his stepson and tries to
guide him through his first
big love, but, regrettably,
the sexual banter and
casualness between the two
ruins what should be a
father/son relationship. And,
this story ends with a scene
that is a real steal from
ABOUT A BOY, making you
wonder, just where are the new
ideas here? LOVE ACTUALLY
could have been a nice
Christmas movie, but it revels
so much in raunch that it
literally ruins itself. No one
should see this movie without
being aware and prepared for
its graphic sexual content.
For a better Christmas
romance, try IT'S A WONDERFUL
LIFE. It is still the
best. Please address your
comments to: Stacey Snider,
Chairman Universal
Pictures Ron Meyer,
President/COO Universal
Studios 100 Universal City
Plaza Universal City, CA
91608-1085 Phone: (818)
777-1000 Web Page:
www.universalstudios.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 128 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Director: Richard Curtis

Executive Producer:

Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellar, and
Duncan Kenworthy EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER: Richard Curtis

Writer: Richard Curtis

Address Comments To:

Content:

(PaPa, RoRo, Ab, AP, B, LLL, SSS, NN, A, DD, M) Strong pagan worldview with strong Romantic content where main characters are driven by emotions and sensuality as many couples develop and/or attempt to get together on Christmas Eve, with Christmas depicted as being completely devoid of any spiritual meaning (a time to give or get what you want), absurd Christmas play put on by children (lobsters at the manger scene, Barney in the manger, etc., and vignette of president of United States as a political bully and sexually interested in Prime Minister’s aide, as well as two nice moral vignettes where characters decide to honor biblical relationships of marriage and not pursue their baser desires; very graphic and raunchy language 40 obscenities, heavy on the “f” word and 10 profanities; no violence; themes of adultery and extremely graphic and lengthy scenes of nudity and simulated sex including upper and rear male and female nudity and graphic sexual motions as two characters perform as body doubles for the pornographic movie industry; alcohol use at parties; illegal drug references; and, lying.

Summary:

LOVE ACTUALLY is promoted as a feel-good romantic comedy for the holiday season, but in fact it is a raunchy comedy filled with graphic nudity and simulated sex and foul language. Although some of the stories are quite sweet and touching, the overall base content of LOVE ACTUALLY ruins the message and the movie.

Review:

LOVE ACTUALLY is promoted as the feel-good comedy for the holiday season along the lines of ABOUT A BOY and KNOTTING HILL, but don’t be deceived by the trailers and ads. This is a very adult comedy, and a disappointing one at that.

Hugh Grant plays the Prime Minister of England, newly installed at 10 Downing Street, but he is by no means the star of this star packed movie. LOVE ACTUALLY is a series of vignettes, such as: Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson as a married couple dealing with temptation and infidelity; Keira Knightly as a radiant newlywed who finds her husband’s best man is in love with her; Bill Nighy as a washed up rocker with an awful new Christmas hit trying to regain stardom; Liam Neeson, who has lost his wife and is helping his stepson navigate his first love; AND MORE! Actually, one of LOVE ACTUALLY’s problems is that there are too many stories and far too much time between each one to really engage viewers.

LOVE ACTUALLY begins with the song “Love is All Around Us,” and the new Prime Minister (Grant) sets the story going when he almost immediately falls for an attendant Natalie, who enters his service shrieking the “f” word, very much like the opening of FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. From that moment, the audience is whirled into a cast of characters related (Emma Thompson is the Prime Minister’s sister) and not related, as they all negotiate relationships in their own lives. Alan Rickman, Thompson’s husband, is tempted by an office assistant who literally spreads her legs and dresses in a devil costume at a Christmas party to seduce him. Bill Nighy is very funny as an aging rocker, but much of his humor revolves around drug use and sexual bawdiness as he attempts to outdo England’s top band for the hit record of the season.

Two characters play body doubles for a porn production company and their scenes are among the raunchiest yet seen in a mainstream movie. Although they simulate sex, they are completely naked, and there are full and lengthy shots of breasts, graphic simulated sex motions, and nude fondling. It is shot for humor, as they are dispassionately portraying these scenes, but the explicitness is shocking and rather sickening. Even more shocking was the laughter of the movie audience around us.

Another character plays a young British gent who believes, if he goes to America, women will be wild about him (like Prince William). He ends up in a bar in Wisconsin, later having sex with four women simultaneously. As mentioned earlier, there are far too many stories, and the swelling music invites viewers to be touched time and time again, but there were a few vignettes in LOVE, ACTUALLY that had a good message.

Although Rickman’s character is tempted to betray his wife, writer Curtis treats the subject appropriately, showing the damage done all around in such affairs, and the way the story is handled upholds biblical truths about marriage. In another story, a young writer goes to France to work on a book and falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Neither can speak the other’s language, and a truly sweet love story follows. Keira Knightly’s storyline also deals with fidelity in an appropriate manner. Daniel (Liam Neeson) has a touching relationship with his stepson and tries to guide him through his first big love, but, regrettably, the sexual banter and casualness between the two ruins what should be a father/son relationship. And, this story ends with a scene that is a real steal from ABOUT A BOY, making you wonder, just where are the new ideas here?

LOVE ACTUALLY could have been a nice Christmas movie, but it revels so much in raunch that it literally ruins itself. No one should see this movie without being aware and prepared for its graphic sexual content. For a better Christmas romance, try IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. It is still the best.

Please address your comments to:

Stacey Snider, Chairman

Universal Pictures

Ron Meyer, President/COO

Universal Studios

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608-1085

Phone: (818) 777-1000

Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

In Brief: