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Written by Black Eyed Susan


"I went to see it with my mates and gosh, after seeing it we were all a bit depressed."


SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!



Released in
2003

Director
Richard Curtis

Screenplay
Richard Curtis

Runtime
135 minutes

Cast
Hugh Grant - David, The Prime Minister
Martine McCutcheon - Natalie
Colin Firth - Jamie
Lúcia Moniz - Aurelia
Emma Thompson - Karen
Alan Rickman - Harry
Heike Makatsch - Mia
Keira Knightley - Juliet
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Peter
Andrew Lincoln - Mark
Liam Neeson - Daniel
Thomas Sangster - Sam
Laura Linney - Sarah
Rodrigo Santoro - Karl
Bill Nighy - Billy Mack
Gregor Fisher - Joe
Kris Marshall - Colin Frisell
Martin Freeman - John
Joanna Page - Just Judy

Guest appearances
Rowan Atkinson - Rufus, jewellery salesman
Billy Bob Thornton - The US President
Claudia Schiffer - Carol
Denise Richards - Carla

Summary
This movie has an interesting structure. Basically, it consists of different stories which all involves love. So instead of summarizing the movie, I'll talk about each story separately.

In no particular order

The Prime Minister falls for his house maid (Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon)
Within minutes that the PM has set foot in 10 Downing St and was introduced to his house staff, he fell for Natalie, his coffee lady. In between ruling the country, he gets to know Natalie, but as the PM he can't afford to have an affair with his staff. On the day that the US President arrived for a meeting, Natalie was serving him coffee while the PM went out of the salon. When he returned, he saw the president coming at Natalie, abusing his power. After this incident, Natalie resigned and disappeared out of the life of the Prime Minister.

A heartbroken writer finds out that love is the universal language (Colin Firth and Lúcia Moniz)
While Jamie is at a wedding reception, his 'ill' girlfriend is enjoying herself with his brother. Accidentally coming home to see if she needed anything, he found out the truth. Broken-hearted, he fled to the south of France to forget all about love and to only concentrate on his writing. Needing someone to clean the house for him, a neighbour has recommended him Aurelia. Unfortunately, they have a huge language barrier with Aurelia only speaking Portuguese and Jamie English. Gradually they fall in love even though they don't understand a single word what the other is saying. Then the day has come for Jamie to return to the UK to celebrate Christmas.

A man is having a peek at the other side (Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Heike Makatsch)
Karen lives for her husband, Harry, and two children. It's a happy marriage; at least she thinks it is. Her husband, on the other hand, works very hard to support his family as an editor. As he approaches the right age for a midlife crisis, his secretary Mia has been giving him not very subtle hints that she's interested in him. Then Karen noticed that Harry has been very absent-minded lately, and on the annual Christmas party she realized that her husband is attracted to his secretary. She warned him once, but on Christmas day, when exchanging gifts, she didn't get the necklace she found in his pocket.

The unrequited love of a man for his best friend's wife (Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor)
It's Juliet and Peter's wedding. Mark, Peter's best friend, never got along with Juliet and Peter is always trying to change that. As Peter's best man, Mark has done his best to make it an unforgettable event. He surprised them with a wedding singer and an orchestra in the church. Yet while everyone else was focusing on the couple, Mark was filming everything concerning the bride. When the couple returned from their honeymoon, Juliet discovered that her video of the wedding was ruined. As she knew that Mark has been filming too, she asked him to lend her that video. For some obvious reasons, he said he didn't find it, so Juliet came to his house and discovered the video herself. After watching it, she realized how he really felt about her.

A father helping his stepson to find love (Liam Neeson and Thomas Sangster)
After the death of his wife, Daniel is left with the care of his 11-year-old stepson, Sam. They've accepted each other and they have fun with each other, but when it comes to emotions they never shared it with each other. So when Daniel learned that Sam was having the pangs of love, he doesn't really know how to deal with it. Sam, meanwhile, was determined to become a musician because he believes that girls dig them. In the meantime, Daniel is still not over his wife. So while both of them are struggling with their feelings, they are slowly bonding with each other.

A girl secretly in love with her co-worker (Laura Linney and Rodrigo Santoro)
From the day Sarah started working at the magazine, she had a huge crush on Karl, the magazine's graphic designer. Now, almost three years later, the crush has developed into love. Although everyone, including Karl, she has her eyes on him, nothing has happened. Until at the annual Christmas party at work, Karl has finally asked her to dance with him. One thing leads to another and they ended up at Sarah's apartment. But every time, they were ready Sarah's mobile went off. The caller who constantly interrupts them is her mentally disabled brother. Not being able to ignore her responsibility for him, the night didn't turn out how it should have been.

An over-the-hill rocker starts to appreciate his manager (Bill Nighy and Gregor Fisher)
Billy Mack is out of the spotlight for ages. His manager, Joe, has found the comeback hit for him, namely 'Christmas is all around' a variant on 'Love is all around'. With this song, Billy Mack wants to claim back his number one spot again in the charts, competing with the far more handsome and younger guys of Blue. While Joe is doing everything in his power to help him reach his goal, all Billy did was pick on him and calling him 'the fat guy'.

The guy who wasn't able to find his dream girl in Britain (Kris Marshall)
Colin Frisell is a sandwich delivery guy in an office. Although he, himself, has a lot of self-confidence and always thinks he's very handsome, the opposite sex is never attracted to him. In reality, you could say he's ugly and very laddish. Finally realizing that he won't find his dream girl in the UK, he decided to head off to America. Colin believes that the girls across of the ocean would die to have a boyfriend like him because of his British accent. So he ends up in an all American bar in Wisconsin, and, unbelievable but true, apparently his luck has changed.

Two porn actors find love while they are acting (Martin Freeman and Joanna Page)
Two porn actors are acting for a movie and while they are being filmed in all different kind of positions, they open up themselves for each other. John and Judy are talking about everything and nothing; gradually they get to know each other quite good. So, after the shooting, John mustered up all his courage and asked Judy out.

Performances
As you could see, there are about 22 main characters and quite a lot of them are big names in the movie industry. For example Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and so on. In general, the acting was very good, but the most outstanding performance has to be that of Bill Nighy. He was hilarious as the ageing rock star and also very convincing. His facial expressions are very funny and in my opinion, he got the best script. His character has totally cracked me up.

Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman also gave great performances as a couple faced with infidelity. The doubt of having a fling or staying loyal to his wife yet quite interested and excited that his beautiful secretary has set her eyes on him. These emotions were all captured in the attitude and the facial expressions of Alan Rickman, very natural and believable.

One of the most emotional scenes has to be the one where Emma Thompson found out that she didn't get the necklace. Gosh, the anger, the agony, the hurt and the disappointment… She expressed them very well, I even got tears in my eyes *blush*

Wonderful acting from Liam Neeson, as well, as the troubled father. The boy playing his son, Thomas Sangster, was ok; a bit exaggerating at times but not that much that it gets annoying.

I was quite disappointed with Keira Knightley's role. As I've never seen her before in any movies, I was quite looking forward to see how her performance is after being called 'the next big thing' in so many magazines. Unfortunately, I realized her role was merely that of being a pretty girl, basically it feels like a filler.

It seems that Andrew Lincoln had the huge part in this story, not that I'm complaining though *wink* His acting was very enjoyable, though I sometimes feel it's still a bit wooden.

Let's move on to Colin Firth, now he's one of my favourite actors after seeing Pride and Prejudice hehe… Anyway, I don't know why but I can't seem to connect with his character. He wasn't able to convince me, so no need to say that I was most disappointed with his acting. It seems like he was lost in this movie, but there are some scenes that shows his best acting though. Or is it possible that for me he'll always be Mr Darcy and this Jamie character just isn't Mr Darcy *sigh*

Hugh Grant playing the Prime Minister of Britain, I must say it's quite original lol… But this role is most definitely routine acting for him. Once again he plays Mr Nice Guy, nothing new. Except I found him less clumsy as David and definitely more serious, but then again, he is playing the Prime Minister haha…

Finally, Martine McCutcheon… She was plain annoying *rolls eyes* I didn't like her voice as it was too squeaky and her acting was just not convincing and stiff at times.

Comments
I actually didn't know the movie was beginning until it dawned on me that it was actually Hugh Grant's voice that I was listening to.

One of the first scenes was the one where Bill Nighy was singing his song 'Christmas is all around' in the studio. Man, my first thought was 'How is it possible to let him **** up such a beautiful song'. Not only did they change the lyrics into a cheesy one, Bill Nighy's singing was definitely out of tune. Immediately, I had this urge to get up and walk away of it.

This movie doesn't have a plot, unless the theme 'love' which holds all the stories together. Also because of the many stories, the screen time of the actors are very short compared to other movies. This also makes the movie very fast-paced and it suddenly goes from one story to another one, which can be very confusing. The many stories results in characters that aren't developed in depth and neither are the stories.

My favourite scenes
Hugh Grant doing this funny little dance when he hears that a radio station has played the song 'Jump' from The Pointer Sisters for him after he told the US President how he really thought about him.

Colin Firth proposing to Lúcia Moniz in Portuguese and Lúcia Moniz answering him in English.

Lúcia Moniz accidentally lost his book over the lake and dived in it to save them. So, in order to not let her think that he was a wuss, Colin Firth jumped into the lake too. *reminds me of the wet shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice :-p*

Any scene with Bill Nighy

Andrew Lincoln expressing his love to Keira Knightley using poster boards, but at the same time also letting her know that he will move on. Very sweet and cute ;-)

The verdict
This is a feel-good movie and it really puts you in Christmas mood. I went to see it with my mates and gosh, after seeing it we were all a bit depressed. 'Love is all around', but how come we're all still single *glare* A group hug was needed afterwards to put us back in the right mood. Although we felt a bit down, we can't deny the fact that it was very entertaining and it did give us some laughs.

Rating

4 out of 5
Memorable quotes and conversation
Billy Mack: Kids, this is a message from your Uncle Billy. Don't buy drugs. Wait until you're a rock star, and they give them to you for free!

Prime Minister: We are a nation of... Harry Potter!

[Natalie, a servant, is greeting the Prime Minister]
Natalie: Hello, David. Oh, shit, I can't believe I just did that. Oh and now I've gone and said "shit" - twice.
Prime Minister: Well, at least you didn't say "fuck", right?
Natalie: I just knew that I was going to fuck up my first day.

Jamie: It's my favourite time of day, driving you.
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] It is the saddest part of my day, leaving you.

Colin: I am Colin. God of Sex. I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all.

Prime Minister: [to a portrait of Margaret Thatcher] Did you have this kind of problem? Of course you did, you saucy minx.

[Aurelia jumps into the lake with hardly any clothes on to save Jamie's book]
Jamie: Oh great! Now if I don't jump in, she'll think I'm a total spaz.
[takes off his sweater]
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] Fuck it's cold!
[Jamie dives in]
Jamie: Oh it's fucking cold!
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] This better be a good book.
Jamie: You know, this book is full of crap.
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] Why doesn't he make copies?
Jamie: I should really make copies.
[beat]
Jamie: God, I hate eels. I hope there aren't any eels.
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] Don't kick up the bottom. You might wake up the eels.
[Jamie screams in shock because of the eels]

Prime Minister: [on the phone to his sister, Karen] I'm very busy and important: how can I help you?

Sam: The truth is I'm in love and there's nothing I can do about it, and it just keeps getting worse.
Daniel: [laughs] Aren't you a bit young to be in love?
Sam: No.
Daniel: [properly chastised] Oh, OK, right. Well, I can't deny it. I'm a little relieved.
Sam: Why?
Daniel: Well, you know - I thought it might be something worse.
Sam: [incredulous] Worse than the total agony of being in love?
Daniel: [thinks- long pause -realizes] Oh. Yeah, you're right. Total agony.

Harry: Tell me, exactly, how long it is that you've been working here?
Sarah: Two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, what, two hours?
Harry: Right. And how long have you been in love with Karl?
Sarah: Sorry?
Harry: How long have you been in love with Karl, our enigmatic chief designer?
Sarah: Ahm, two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, and hour and thirty minutes.
Harry: I thought as much.
Sarah: Do you think everybody knows?
Harry: Yes.
Sarah: Do you think Karl knows?
Harry: Yes.
Sarah: That is bad news.
Harry: I just think perhaps now is the time to do something about it.
Sarah: Right. What sort of thing did you have in mind?
Harry: How about ask him for a drink, and then maybe after twenty minutes casually slip into the conversation the fact that you love him totally and would like to marry him and have lots of sex and babies.
Sarah: You know that?
Harry: Yes. And so does Karl. Think about it. For all our sakes.
Sarah: Certainly. Excellent. Will do. Thanks, boss.





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