Dir. Richard Curtis (2003)
Eight different couples find out what love actually is.
Perhaps the scariest time in a horror lover’s life is Christmas, when most of your loved ones look down on your chosen genre with disdain as the season of love and merriment gives way to sappy love stories, Christmas Vacations and bb guns. Nothing is more terrifying for the horror fan than grabbing your theater candy, ready for yet another night of guts and dismemberment only to be met with blaring instrumental announcing another Hallmark-quality film about a town that runs on Christmas tree farms and high-powered lawyers, seemingly the only two professions that actually exist in Hallmarkville. If they’re lucky, though… they may actually get to watch Love Actually, the greatest Christmas movie of all time and one of my favorite movies that doesn’t feature a decapitation.
Love Actually is amazing, and fuck the haters. I’ve read so many articles online about how problematic the movie suddenly is, complaining about Andrew Lincoln’s iconic announcement to his beloved, despite her marriage to his best friend, or Severus Snape’s purchase of a gift for the woman who is looking to make him cheat on Emma Thompson. To those people, I have but two messages to make loud and clear: First, you didn’t understand the point of the movie. Second, go fuck yourself. Love Actually is about what love actually is. It’s not just poems to your betrothed or longform letters when you’re apart. It’s not walking down a long flowered aisle or great big rocks that someone dug out of the Earth in Africa.
Love, actually, is all kinds of things. Love is taking care of your brother who sits alone in an institution, giving up your one chance to be happy in your life because your love for your brother comes first. Love is childlike, when you’d do anything to impress the one who has imprinted themselves on your heart. Love is writing the same story from two perspectives, being willing to learn an entirely different language just to communicate with the person who completes you. Love is erotic, like when you visit America for the first time in the hopes that you’ll find a bevy of gorgeous women who desperately want to have sex with an Englishman. Love, actually, is all of these things. And more.
The closing of the movie is amazing, tugging at your heartstrings as it shows you all of these people, from all walks of life, from all around the world, meeting each other in an airport and, once again, declaring their loves for each other. It doesn’t matter what your love story is, it just matters that you have one. If you don’t, there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world looking for the same thing you are, to love and to be loved. During the holiday season, is there any greater message that needs to be imparted to the world? Hell, during any time, is there anything people need to be reminded of more than love is love is love is…?
Look, I get it. This is a horror movie site. You’re not here to read my thoughts on some sappy romantic movie. To that I say… it’s Christmas, guys. You can watch someone get their fingers chopped off another day, and I promise you those entrails will keep well into the New Year. For today, even if just for today, maybe it’s not too much to ask to take a night off from the slashing to remember that the world is, actually, full of love, despite how things may have seemed the last few years. Go sit on the couch with your family. Grab a nice bowl of popcorn or a warm chocolatey beverage. Turn your television to one of the many channels that will be playing this movie on repeat for the next few hours and just… love.
From everyone here at The Horror Revolution, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Now get out of here, you saps. We’ll see you in a couple of days with more blood and mayhem. We promise. We have one message for all of our readers:
Who this movie is for: Lovers, Dreamers, Me
Bottom line: Love Actually is the best movie ever made. Ok, maybe not the best movie ever made, but when I saw this for the first time I bawled like a newborn. If you haven’t seen this because it doesn’t have your required quota of genitalia being ripped from bodies, please give it a shot. The world needs more love, and it’s always a good thing to be reminded that there’s more of it out there than you think. You just might find that it’s your heart that gets ripped from your chest today.