Richard Curtis

Screenwriter of Black Adder, Mr. Bean, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually, and others.

Don't Like It Love Actually (2003) -- Richard Curtis takes a bunch of not-so-developed love stories and throws them together, hoping that the presence of all twelve (or however many) will overwhelm audiences into thinking it truly is "the ultimate romantic comedy."  But it doesn't work that way.  Maybe Robert Altman could have done it, but in this movie, you just wish he'd have picked one.  The best candidate would probably be Hugh Grant's story as the Prime Minister, falling in love with one of his underlings.  It wouldn't have been a great movie, but it would have been cute enough.  Alan Rickman's story of infidelity might have been okay if developed, but here there isn't enough to care about.  The most offensive one is probably the Keira Knightley story where she's just been married and the groom's best friend is in love with her.  He does many creepy, inappropriate things and we're supposed to root for him, I guess.  The rest of the stories are just a whiff of nothing to fill up the rest of the over-two-hour (a big no-no for a romantic comedy) running time: Liam Neeson has a kid who likes another kid, Laura Linney acts neurotic, Kris Marshall wants to get laid in America, Bill Nighy wants the number one Christmas single (how is that a love story, by the way?), and two soft-porn actors fall in love (which isn't as interesting or funny as it sounds).  Mr. Bean shows up once or twice for no good reason.  Offensive isn't a word you'd expect to describe a romantic comedy (especially the "ultimate" one), but that's what this is: starting with the opening narration about 9/11, using our tragedy to make some dumb (and stupidly, offensively flawed) argument about how people are happy at Heathrow Airport.

Copyright (c) Apr 2008 by Rusty Likes Movies