(Publisher’s Note: By design, the following review made extensive use of this weekend’s comment diversion about your favorite curse words. I’d like to thank all those who contributed, and for helping me to make this perhaps the most profane review of a movie of this kind in the history of film critiquing. You people are some foul-mouthed motherfuckers.).
In the nearly six-year history of Pajiba, there’s never been a movie that has divided our readership as violently as the one being reviewed here. For reasons that I don’t understand, it’s also a reference point to nearly 47 percent of all other films released since 2003. It’s obscene, really, how this piece of cinematic dickrot could curry so much favor on this site, and yet also raise the ire of every other sheep-shagging asshole who reads Pajiba. Even among the writers here, it’s a point of contention. Ironically, it’s the angry tattooed rage-a-reach-around shitlamp, TK, who forgets to zip up his vagina every time he watches this movie and wells up like a lost schoolgirl, while it is I — the apparent resident sap, the syrupy cock strudel — who actually abhors this movie.
I speak, of course, of Love, Actually, and Merciful Suffering Chocolate Baby Jesus, I don’t get the love for this movie. Fuck. me. dead., it’s a terrible goddamn film. Love, Actually was the original She’s Just Not That Into You; it’s Valentine’s Day with British accents. We have Richard Curtis to thank for the celebrity romantic ensemble comedies that have arisen in Love, Actually’s penguin-shit-eating wake and for that, I hope he trips and lands in a shit bucket. Love, Actually is a simpering ball of sap, manipulative beyond measure, as artificial as Twinkies, and as dim as five feet up a pig’s ass. And yet, every turdflinger and thundercock this side of the Prime Meridian can’t turn away when it airs on cable.
There are, by my count, nine interlocking stories in Curtis’ Love, Actually, and if you don’t like romantic comedies, these nine mini rom-coms are like a series of sharp, shit-kicking blows to the head. Each romantic butt nugget is as syphilitic and insufferable as the next, and despite a painfully agonizing two-hour-and-15 minute runtime, the characters are as flat as Keira Knightley’s chest.
To describe any one of the nine (9!) narratives is to give the entire movie away, but it’s been seven years, you crotch maggots, and if you don’t want to be spoilered at this point, go fuck your face. Hugh Grant plays the tory-loving royalist Prime Minister, a bachelor just beginning his gig, who falls in love with the “catering manager,” (Martine McCutcheon) a woman who is inexplicably described as chubby, in much the same way that Renee ‘Shitstain” Zellwegger is chubby in Bridget Jones’ Diary, which is to say: She’s of normal size. This plotline is the one that actually grated on me least, thanks mostly to the litheness of Hugh Grant, a crap-stacking pickle dick who has always been able to make an ass of himself with considerable charm.
Meanwhile, Colin Firth, that hermaphroditic candlefuck, retreats to an isolated cabin to work on his novel after he catches his wife with his best friend’s horse’s dick in her ass. There, he falls in love with his Portuguese house keeper despite the language barrier and the plot strand aimlessly winds its way toward a silly language-challenged proposal. Elsewhere, in one of several completely throw-away subplots, Martin Freeman develops a rapport with a cute woman as they are acting as stand-ins for a porn movie. Alan Rickman’s character — married to Emma Thompson’s — can’t help but to fall for the wiles of his secretary — a wide-legged spermatorium — while Thompson’s character (who is the sister of the Prime Minister), spends much of her screen time listening to Joni Mitchell. Thompson is also close friends with Liam Neeson’s character, whose wife died, leaving him to care for his 11-year-old step-son (Thomas Sangster) on his own. And yes: Even the 11-year-old is in love with the “coolest girl” in his class. In the end, it’s the kid who runs through the airport to stop the love of his life before she gets on an airplane. Real genre subverting there, Dick Curtis.
Monkey Trumpets! What am I leaving out? Ah yes: There’s some dude who is madly in love with his best friend’s wife (Kiera Knightley), but because this is a ridiculous, conflict-free romantic comedy, somehow that plot strand resolves itself in a cute(ish) manner that recalls an old INXS video. No one gets their feelings hurt, and — fuckity fuck fuck fuck — Richard Curtis gets to put Kiera Knightly on the movie poster. Laura Linney also has an insignificant subplot where she falls in love with a co-worker but can’t consummate the relationship because of her disabled brother. Don’t ask.
Finally (I think), Bill Nighy plays a washed-up rock star — a lewd fellow of the baser sort — who makes a Christmas song of his biggest hit in a transparent attempt to sell out. Nighy’s plotline is often cited as a favorite among Love, Actually fans, but Christ’s Granny, I don’t understand why. He’s on screen for a grand total of nine minutes, and while he is charmingly self-effacing, the absurd payoff to his plotline involves playing his Christmas hit in the nude. Fuck me til I cry.
It’s not really that Curtis is untalented, although some of his filmography (Notting Hill, The Boat That Rocked) looks like the after-birth of a rat bastard. It’s just that, in Love, Actually, he doesn’t want to fucking shut the fuck up — if he’d removed four or five of the interloping narratives and focused more time and effort on three or four of the more substantive plotlines (Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, and Colin Firth), kicked the manipulatively cute kid to the curb, and winnowed the fedunkta shize (?) run-time down by half an hour, the movie might not have been as abrasively sweet, a cloying mawkishness that’s exacerbated by the airplane scenes that bookend the movie with enough cheese to kill the fat man from Se7en.
And yet … and yet … while no one could objectively admit Love, Actually is any good, as sickening, and deviously tear-jerkery as it is, by Sabrina Vaginas, if you don’t get a little verklempt by the end, then TK is right: You have a popcorn kernel for a heart. I hate very fucking second of Love, Actually, but by God, I hate it with a giant horse cock-eating grin on my sister-fucking face. And if you have a problem with that, then you can go Yob tvoyu mat (that’s Russian for fuck your mother).