I just wanted to add my upwards thumb to John Callender's review of Love Actually over at Lies.com.
It is a great movie that manages to interweave its many storylines into a satisfying and cohesive whole. (I agree with John, that the fat jokes did seem oddly out of place in an otherwise warm and positive film).
Richard Curtis wrote and directed the film and deserves most of the credit for its success. Of course, how could he fail with a cast that included Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, and Liam Neeson. I also have to mention Thomas Sangstrom because he was absolutely adorable (and a fine thespian) as Liam's son.
The storyline with, the unlucky-in-love/sex, Kris Marshall; who goes to America (with a backpack full of condoms) and becomes unbelievably lucky-in-love/sex, was a silly but effective satire on the lure that the English accent seems to have on American women. It seems the perfect antithesis for the more dramatic Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman storyline. I'm glad that it played better on subsequent viewings for John.
The movie is unapologetically sentimental and sometimes emotionally manipulative (with its Christmas setting heightening all those emotions). It is light fare that strives for (and succeeds) something deeper. It's all about Love, Actually; and it does an admirable job of capturing many of the myriad aspects of love that keep us striving for our own chance at finding it.
Yes, John, I teared up too. It affected me on all the levels it aimed for; as a father, husband and a human being (and as an unabashed lover of Christmas).
Go rent the DVD, today. If not for love, then to see the bestest Christmas pageant ever... lobsters at the nativity!