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15 October 2010 @ 02:00 am
Love Actually  
Netflix of the day is Love, Actually. Which is the most "hey, I know that face" movie ever. Not just the obvious ones -- they cast every 'male hearthrob despite not being conventionally handsome' actor about, not to mention a bunch of great actresses -- but the more minor roles. "Hey, I know him... oh, the son from that brit sitcom about the dentist... huh, his pal, he -- oh, Doctor Who, wait, and she was from the same episode. Hey! That's the guy from Sherlock! That little kid, he looks... Doctor Who *again*? Wait, Thomas Sangster is 12 here? 17 in Doctor Who? He looked like he was 12 *then*."

Jeez, random Rowan Atkinson, even! And the guy from the troll episode of Merlin.

Upon finishing watching: apart from the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman storyline, it's about an inch deep, filled with pretty middle and upperclass British people leading the sort of lives where their jobs involve typing in picaresque French farmhouses or swanning about art galleries. Even the porn set looks like Versailles. But they are really very charming shallow people, and it has Colin Firth trying to propose in bad Portuguese, which is simply impossible to go wrong with.

There's one storyline that is no doubt supposed to be the Serious, Tragic one, but people ruining their lives to 'take care' of other people just annoys rather than moves me. It's possible to visit and care about your insane brother without having to be on the phone with him 24/7 and take off in the middle of the night to have him try to punch you. He's in a mental hospital where there are people trained to take care of him, chica, stop playing the martyr.
kitmizkit on October 15th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's the one that annoys me too. :)
Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)
There are cases where people do have horrible choices, but clean, pleasant looking hospital, alert attendants who restrain him with minimum force, people with actual psychiatric training... their only apparent flaw was letting the brother have unlimited access to a phone at all hours.

I just couldn't sympathize with someone so determined to fuck themselves over. She wasn't even helping her brother; he'd have been a lot better off talking to a trained therapist when having a crisis.
Scarlett Girlscarlettgirl on October 15th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
I love this movie and watch it ever November! However,the Serious, Tragic storyine annoys me so much I fast forward through it. Every time.

(This first time I watched "Sherlock" I was all - "Hey, it's the Porn Guy from Love, Actually!" It is a who's who!)

Edited at 2010-10-15 03:59 pm (UTC)
Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
The one I forwarded through large bits of was the aging rocker, but that's because watching people embarrass themselves is a squick of mine. Which made the ending of that strand jarring. I'm still not sure if they were declaring themselves hetrosexual life mates, or if there was supposed to be attraction there.
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Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
It's got a half-dozen or more of the most likeable and charming actors and actresses in British film, mostly having romantic fun in a fantasy world where you can learn to drum or speak passable Portuguese in a couple of weeks and practically everyone falls in love at first or second sight. It's hard not to like.

I think that's why the Rickman/Thompson thread worked and the Sarah/brother one didn't. The former had just enough fantasy, Rickman working in a glossy NGO, Thompson's perfect shiny house and life and kids, so that the commonplace betrayal and self-destruction in the middle still fit in. And of course Thompson *killed* it with the discovery and reaction. It gave a little weight to an otherwise utterly frothy film.

The Sarah thread OTOH just seemed from another movie, where a plain (in movie terms) middle-aged (ditto) woman gives up a chance at happiness to continue her mutually self-destructive relationship with her brother. Some grim independent flick.
Alix (Tersa): Arnold--contemplative (tersa)tersa on October 15th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
I don't remember much about that movie other than being totally charmed by Liam Neeson's character's relationship with his (step?) child.
Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
I was, except for the very end, where I found him conspiring with Sam to disrupt the entire airport just so Sam could say goodbye to his (probably not actually) love of his life rather less charming than the writer/director did. Perhaps it's the American in me, but I kept imagining the number of people who missed Christmas Day with their families because they had to hold up all departures for hours while they searched the place and rescanned all passengers.
mikkeneko on October 17th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Lauratavella on October 17th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
I'm glad someone else thought "stupid, not romantic"!
Kirke: Glee Express Yourselfkirke_novak on October 15th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
As a person working more or less in mental health, I find her attitude completely unhealthy and damaging for her brother.

I love this film, one of my most favorite films ever - I must have watched it about 15 times already but the storyline I am not buying is the Liam Neeson one. Kid's mother has just died and he's sad about having a crush? I've watched the deleted scenes, so I know they've completely changed his storyline (he wasn't supposed to have a crush but was supposed to be obsessed with Claudia Shiffer) and completely cut out another "love story" - of a lesbian school director and her dying partner.

Also: expected naked Martin Freeman is always ♥!
Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
I could buy the kid with the crush; they specified that it had started before his mom died. Mind you, I didn't really buy that *all* the sad was about that, but life doesn't stop. What I found jarring was that five weeks after the 'love of his life' died, the dad was starting a new relationship. I didn't expect a year of mourning or anything, but a month seemed a little fast.
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Lauratavella on October 16th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Especially the learning Portuguese!
Arijan (pronounced "AH-ree-yawn"): Emma's smile is pasted on...tobu_ishi on October 15th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Well, he met her five weeks after his wife died, after knowing that his wife was going to be dying for quite a long time, and we don't know when they exactly started dating. Only that they apparently were by the next Christmas.

I think the Sarah storyline is quite unhealthy and codependent, but I think that was the point. It was kind of a nice grace note that the movie had at least one love story that didn't end well. Left me feeling less prone to cavities than perfect hookups for everybody.

(And I am crazy fond of Billy Mack and his manager. Hurray for heterosexual lifemates, whether there might be a little attraction in there or not.)
Lauratavella on October 15th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
I've already returned it so I can't check, but wasn't the coda set a month afterwards, not a year?
Arijan (pronounced "AH-ree-yawn"): a dizzying intellect!tobu_ishi on October 15th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Hm. Can't remember. Bother. :|

You're probably right, though. Ah, well.
Arijan (pronounced "AH-ree-yawn"): love before adversity (Tams)tobu_ishi on October 15th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Oh also, have you seen these two deleted scene bits?

Extra Emma Thompson!
My favorite romance "from" the film.
Lauratavella on October 16th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Yup! Saw the extras. I can see why they cut it with the time issues, but they were great scenes.