Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Meanwhile, on the Internet
Tribune Reporters
'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

Subscribe (RSS)




Courtesy | Universal Pictures Hugh Grant as the British Prime Minister and Martine McCutcheon as his cheeky staffer who fall in love in "Love Actually."
Love Actually: The most divisive film of all time?

To honor the 10-year anniversary of a movie that has ascended to "holiday classic," feuding critics at The Atlantic are slicing and dicing Love Actually. Christopher Orr says the movie trashes the whole idea of love with a parade of superficial relationships. Emma Green says the patchwork of couples represents all types of love fairly and realistically.

After reading both reviews, along with a flurry of media reaction, I feel more confident than ever in my response to Love Actually: People who love Love Actually and people who hate Love Actually never will understand each other.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Not ever.

If you haven’t seen this movie, you may have high hopes. Bill Nighy + Emma Thompson + Alan Rickman + Laura Linney + Colin Firth + Keira Knightley + Liam Neeson. Just hear those award nominations jingling, ring-ting-tingling. And there’s Christmas! And England! And love! How could anyone be less than charmed? Or at least entertained?

I hated Love Actually.

Several important people in my life adored it: my brother, my mom, my BFF. Each of them looked positively stung when I confessed I didn’t like it. When they said they loved it, I wondered, "Do I know you?"

The movie follows 10 relationships. There is a man in love with his best friend’s bride, a jilted writer crushing on his Portuguese maid, a widower and his stepson, a middle-aged smartypants husband drifting from his middle-aged smartypants wife, some porn body doubles, a washed-up pop star, a sad lady, a dead lady, the Prime Minister, and Milwaukee.

All in a little more than two hours. Not a lot of time to develop 10 "plots."

Green says that’s fine; it’s how the movie presented a well-rounded collection of love-ish relationships. Green draws parallels to C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, which catalogues different types of love. Love Actually demonstrates affection (as Sad Lady Laura Linney shows her mentally-ill brother), friendship (as between the old singer and his manager), and eros (like how the one guy falls in love with his maid, despite a language barrier, because she took off her clothes and jumped into a pond).

Well, I can’t dispute that a movie about a lot of different relationships covers a lot of different relationships.

Christopher Orr *kind of* explains my dislike, but he seems mostly offended by what he sees as the movie’s desecration of love: that it’s all about lightning bolts of (mostly physical) attraction and skips over the journey — love’s development and the work to keep it alive.

Nah, that’s not it. To me, the journey’s absence doesn’t signal a lack of real love so much as the lack of a plot. After two hours and 10 sub-plots, my head should be spinning. Instead I feel like I spent two hours watching people stand still. There just isn’t time to see most of the characters go through much of anything believable, and the one sub-plot that works (Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson’s) only gets like 15 minutes.

But, fans protest, the self-sacrifice of Laura Linney! The little boy whose mom died! Keira Knightley’s adorable hat! Colin Firth, once again, in a pond! <-- HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE THIS?????

While you stand in disbelief of my boredom, I stand in disbelief that anyone could watch this movie 40 times, call it a "holiday classic," or (gutpunch) introduce it as the Christmas Eve replacement for It’s a Wonderful Life.

Yes, I’ve seen it happen.

Usually I can understand how other people really enjoyed movies I don’t like. But this one eludes me. It’s like we saw different movies.

—Erin Alberty



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.