A hybrid between the Ensemble Movie and the Romantic Comedy Movie, with a wide cast including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Bill Nighy.
The movie is a long ensemble movie with a variety of interconnected characters, with rambling plots and opportunities for various characters to meet and cross paths in London.
Unlike movies like Short Cuts or Magnolia, though, this ensemble movie’s theme and mood is romance. While there are some poignant moments, the movie in general is very light, and usually doesn’t stray far from humor.
Explaining the plot, given the number of characters, would be laborious. Needless to say, the characters, ranging from a lonely Prime Minister (Grant), an aging rock star (Nighy), a writer (Colin Firth), a widowed father (Liam Neeson) and others explore romantic relationships. Like any of these ensemble films, some of the stories work better than others, and the characters are of uneven interest.
Still, for what it is and what it wants to do, Love Actually does succeed. Some of the stories are unrealistic and clearly fantastic (such as Kris Marshall’s Colin, who goes to Wisconsin and finds romance with impossibly hot young Americans). Others, like Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson’s couple, have a much more poignant story.
I liked it.