Monday, December 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Movies - Love Actually

Spoiler Alert. (I've done my part, if the movie gets spoiled for you now it's your own fault)

"12 Days of Christmas Movies" soldiers on. It's not gonna let a minor detail like the fact that Christmas is over until next year derail it. It can't be held down because...nobody demands it. After going slightly more obscure with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas" we are back on track with movies you probably expect representation from. Still have some unconventional choices coming. Ladies, Gentleman, and the good people of Denmark, Day 4's movie teaches us if you look hard enough you'll find that Love Actually is a must-watch each Christmas

Love Actually

The plot according to j.Bowman...
Billed as "The Ultimate Romantic Comedy", you had to know Hugh Grant was going to be involved in some way. He narrates the opening scene of Heathrow airport, at which point I thought it'd be interesting just to have him give insightful speeches at random times during the movie. Kinda like a British Morgan Freeman with ADD.

We gots tons of characters thrown at us in the first bit of the movie. The vast majority of them are British, so fans of accents are going to love this immediately. It may be difficult to make sense of all the characters and their relationships and connections with each other. Luckily I found this helpful diagram.

 (Ohhhhhhhh....I get it now)

There is also a wedding, which one would assume is based out of love and not pregnancy, and the groom is the badass who played "The Operative" in "Serenity" (if you haven't seen it or it's tv series "Firefly", you are missing out and I weep for your children) So who does this badass get to marry? boom! Kiera Knightly looking scrumptious (I just decided that is the creepiest way to describe how pretty someone is). Here is a photo of him laughing at everyone who didn't get to marry Kiera Knightly:

(Can't be mad at him. You gotta lock that down)

Turns out he has a best friend who treats Kiera Knightly like crap. We don't see a lot of that, but it is heavily implied when "The Operative" says he does that. The best friend is super cold to her on the phone and at one point she shows up at his flat looking for video footage from her wedding. We know he has some because we saw him filming earlier with what at the moment seemed like a kinda creepy look on his face. He tries to pretend he erased the footage, but unfortunately he left a tape labeled "Operative & Kiera Knightly's wedding" (that is what I'm calling them, I don't care) on his coffee table. Whoops. So she watches it and it's the creepiest video since the ring. It is all footage of her, close-ups longshots, you name it. And it turns out (TWIST!) He actually loves her. This might be the best companion picture I have had in any of the blog posts. Sums up the scene perfectly.

(True story: this pic labeled in my computer as "Loveactuallyohshit")

I'm not saying I wouldnt have done the same thing if one of my best friends married Keira Knightly (and he will. B.Shirlaw, lock it down) I would just hide it better. This guy seemed to think the nominations for the "Worst Friend Ever" awards were soon and decided to step his game up. And he sure did. 

(I really like his chances this year at the "WFE" awards)

Oh, and Hugh Grant shows in in physical form, and turns out he's the Prime Minister (okay) and he's really popular with everyone (kinda pushing it) and he's single (fuck off). Something tells me he is going to have a run in with love at some point. He immediately meets 3 random members of his staff, an old man, an old lady and a young adorably nervous and attainably chubby staffer whose job isn't explained right away. They could've just said her job was being the Prime Minister's "love interest" and I woulda been okay with it. That is just part of Love Actually's charm. Oh, turns out her job is to bring him cookies. Turns out she used those tactics on her last boyfriend until the day she brought him fruit actually.

(Puppet domestic abuse is the worst kind)

So Hugh Grant awkwardly leers at her and then during a visit from the American president (Billy Bob Thornton, naturally) he catches the president....whispering in her ear. So Hugh Grant handles the situation like any other mature politician would: He fires her and then punks out the president of the world's most powerful country during a televised press conference.

(It was a big day for fans of irrational judgement)

But everying turns out fine because he's Hugh Grant. Instead of being sued and then carpet bombed into oblivion, he gets the girl and the president skulks away never to be seen again. Big win.

Colin Firth shows up too and he discovers his girlfriend is faking being sick. He probably hates liars, so understandably that is a big deal. Oh, also she is banging his brother. Of course this is a pretty awkward scene but more awkward is the fact that you don't really see the brother or cheating girlfriend again. And the next time you see Colin Firth, he is hiding out at some lakeside cabin. Love makes people do crazy things, and even though that plotline doesn't really get the screen time it deserves, luckily I wrote a sequel called "Violence Probably". 
 (Tell me those aren't the eyes of a cold blooded killer)

Now, I'm not going to recap what happens to everyone because there are about 74 characters in this movie (who somehow are all connected. Check the graph) but there is someone who showed up in it that requires mentioning. He was in the "12 Days of Christmas Movies" day 1 classic Die Hard. Yep, turns out Hans Gruber is part of the love, well, it's not a triangle. What do you call the shape up there that connects all the characters? It probably has like 80 sides so I'm just gonna call it a "Holyfucksagon" and move on. I was gonna use a picture of him from Love Actually here, but instead I'm gonna give Die Hard some more representation.

(Macgruber = Hans Gruber in Ireland)

At this point I realize the movie doesn't have a villain. Hopefully Hans steps in and gives us some conflict. His story is that he's married but is being driven after by his secretary who is about as subtle as a punch in the face. He buys her expensive jewellery which his wife finds and assumes is for her. WRONG! It's for the tart that Hans has on the side. He and his wife have kids too. What an asshole.

(Hans Gruber: Bringer of conflict, banger of secretaries)

This could go on forever, but I'm gonna get to the breakdown now. There are a bunch of other characters, but one of them is Laura Linney so fuck that. I'm gonna move on.

(Her and Gruber hatching a nefarious scheme to blow up an orphanage...actually)

What solidifies it's status as a Christmas movie?
The word Christmas is said roughly 734 times. If that doesn't qualify it, we'll need some slutty Santa Clau-

 (Thank you)

Key Christmas Moment
Every character that we've met for the most part all show up at a school for a Christmas concert. A rousing rendition of "All I Want for Christmas is You", originally done by Mariah Carey and Pantera, is performed. Adorableness ensues...actually. Can't post the embed vid, so here is a link to my youtube channel and the scene.

Key Christmas Quote

Harry: Right, the Christmas party. Not my favorite night of the year, and your unhappy job to organize.
Mia:Tell me.
Harry: Well, it's basic, really. Find a venue, over-order on the drinks, bulk-buy the guacamole and advise the girls to avoid Kevin if they want their breasts unfondled. 
Favorite non-Christmas Quote
Sam: Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love.

Xmas Game Ball Goes To.....
Colin. Everything worked out exactly as he planned and you gotta respect that. Also, January Jones. 'Nuff said.

Most Hated Character?
This was a tough one. Instinctively I wanted to give it to Hans Gruber, because he is a cheating bastard, but I'm going deeper and targeting the catalyst of the whole situation, his secretary Mia. If there is anything she loves more than Christmas, it's breaking up marriages and for that she is now known around my house as the "Skank-a-tron 9000". 


The movie wouldn't have happened if...
Everyone in Britain was more than 2 connections away from anyone else. If playing "6 Degrees of Love Actually Characters" you'd have 4 degrees to spare.

Also even though the movie was pretty much over by then, the ending wouldn't have happened if they held true to the fact that it was post 9/11 and the kid would've been sent to juvie for running through airport security (if not tased to the full extent of the law).

("You're going away for a long time...actually")

Alrighty, Day 4 is in the books. I have watched all 12, just haven't written about them yet. figure I could rush them all out and they would be shitty, or I could take my time, work really hard on them and ensure that when they get posted, they are stamped with the j.Bowman Can't Sleep "Seal of Mediocrity". Low standards are easily met (someone famous and/or ugly probably said that once)So yeah, I will eventually get to all 12. Some of them you are going to see coming a mile away, which is totally cool because some of these are classics for everyone...basically.

The List so Far:
Day 4: Love Actually

Thanks for Reading


"j.Bowman Can't Sleep kind of official Facebook Page".....Like Actually?

1 comment:

  1. I love your synopsis of the movie. I love Love Actually and watch it every Christmas. Yet while reading your post you managed to make me laugh and feel like I haven't seen everything there is to see. Or like I'm watching it in a very different light.

    Thank you for the laugh!