Movie Night: Love Actually

MoviesOkay, so Love Actually is clearly not as important to the very survival of our way of life as Fahrenheit 9/11, but to be honest, I needed a little break after something so heavy.

I’ve loved Four Weddings and a Funeral since I originally saw it during its theatrical run, and I had high hopes for Love Actually, its being the directorial debut of the writer of Weddings (not to mention Notting Hill), Richard Curtis. Of course, being a good writer doesn’t make one a good (or even capable) director, but I was optimistic that his obvious understanding of both character and dialogue would at least give him a bit of an edge over, say, a Joe Eszterhas.

Obviously, I thought enough of it to pick it up on DVD (or at least to buy it for Pam on DVD). It’s far from flawless, but watching it last night, I think I found a bit of a counterargument against its most frequent criticism — that it tried to cover too much territory, to focus on too many individual characters and stories.

A fair criticism, perhaps, but not quite accurate... a bit of an oversimplification. With allowances for the occasional storyline confusion, the key question becomes whether or not any of the primary storylines are shortchanged. And in this case, the answer is no — surely, any of them could have more detail, I don’t think any of them requires it. It’s a moderately sophisticated romantic comedy, not a heavy drama.

Now, where the picture does fall short is in the secondary storylines, which range from the amusing to the implausible. While they’re consistently amusing, they’re all too different in kind from the primaries. They serve merely as filler pieces, without any of the character depth (or at least much less of it) than the remainder of the picture. Still, I would rather have kept those stories and developed them a bit more than to have them excised altogether.

In any case, a fun little holiday picture, and well worth an occasional revisiting.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home