Eight Days of Christmas: Favorite things about… Love Actually

(Image via drafthouse.com)
(Image via drafthouse.com)

The favorite film:
Love Actually, a 2003 holiday romantic comedy written and directed by Richard Curtis

The synopsis:
Romance is explored through the intertwining storylines of multiple couples as they experience young love, fading love, lost love, lust and even brotherly love during the Christmas season in London (and in a few other places, but mostly in London).

The cast:

  • Colin Firth as Jamie
  • Liam Neeson as Daniel
  • Andrew Lincoln as Mark
  • Emma Thompson as Karen
  • Bill Nighy as Billy Mack
  • Martin Freeman as John
  • Kris Marshall as Colin Frissell
  • Gregor Fisher as Joe, Billy’s manager
  • Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister, David
  • …etc. (The cast is huge, I’m not going to list them all here!)
Rodrigo Santoro and Richard Curtis on set (Image via fansshare.net)
Rodrigo Santoro and Richard Curtis on set (Image via fansshare.net)

Fun facts:

  • Weirdest bit of trivia I’ve ever seen in my ‘Favorite things about…’ research: According to IMDb, Billy Bob Thornton is afraid of antique furniture, and Hugh Grant would taunt him during filming by flashing antiques at him just before the camera rolled!
  • Laura Linney’s character was originally meant to be British.
  • The song that Bill Nighy’s character covers as “Christmas is All Around” is “Love is All Around” by The Troggs, which features the lyric “Love actually is all around.”
  • On the wall of the office where Sarah works, there are two clocks which show New York time and Brazil time. Though both are working in London, Sarah is from New York and her love interest, Karl, is from Brazil.
  • Emma Thompson wore a fat suit for her role as Karen.
  • Young actress Olivia Olson’s voice was so good in her performance of “All I Want for Christmas is You” that Richard Curtis had to have it edited to sound more like a child.
  • A sneaky reference to Rear Window is included in the scene where Juliet visits Mark to see the footage of her wedding. A copy of the film can be seen in the background.
  • Richard Curtis’ crew filmed at Heathrow Airport for a week to get footage for the opening and closing sequences of the film. Those are real people and real reactions — the crews asked for permission from the travelers whenever they caught a clip fit for the film.
  • Production designer Jim Clay toured the Prime Minister’s real residence in order to prepare for the movie. He was not allowed to take photos or sketch during the tour, so his replica of the home is completely constructed from memory.
  • This was Richard Curtis’ first film as director. He has only directed two films since (Pirate Radio and About Time) and usually works as a writer.
(Image via drafthouse.com)
(Image via drafthouse.com)

Favorite things/quotes:

  • The Prime Minister’s opening monologue
  • Everything Bill Nighy does in the entire film, beginning with his recording process flubs in his first scene.
  • Karen: “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?”
  • Natalie: “Hello, David. I mean, sir. Shit, I can’t believe I’ve just said that. And now I’ve gone and said ‘shit.’ Twice. I’m so sorry, sir.”
    David: “It’s fine, it’s fine. You could’ve said ‘fuck’ and we’d have been in real trouble.”
    Natalie: “Thank you, sir. I did have an awful premonition I was gonna fuck up on my first day.”
  • The “All You Need is Love” surprise at the wedding
  • Colin calling the finger-food a “taste explosion”
  • Colin’s conversation with the wedding caterer
  • Harry: “Sarah, switch off your phone and 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: “And how long have you been in love with Karl, our enigmatic chief designer?”
    Sarah: “Um… two years, seven months, three days and I suppose… an hour and thirty minutes.”
  • Sam confessing to Daniel that he’s in love
  • David offering to have Natalie’s ex-boyfriend murdered because he said she was getting fat
  • Billy: “Hiya, kids. Here’s an important message from your uncle Billy. Don’t buy drugs — become a pop star and they give you them for free!”
  • Jamie’s failure at keeping his languages straight
  • Karen: “The trouble with being the Prime Minister’s sister is it puts your life into rather harsh perspective. What did my brother do today? He stood up and fought for his country. And what did I do? I made a papier-mache lobster head.”
  • The scene where the Prime Minister dances to the Pointer Sisters
  • Aurelia trying to guess the genre of Jamie’s book
  • Daniel: “We need Kate, and we need Leo, and we need them now.”
  • Billy promising to sing naked on live TV if his song hits number one
  • Chart host: “Here it is. Number one, from Billy Mack, it’s ‘Christmas is All Around.'”
    Billy: “Oh, Jesus, not that crap again!”
  • Mark and his huge card-messages
  • David and his chauffeur singing
  • David and Natalie getting caught smoochin’ backstage at the Christmas recital
  • Jamie learning Portuguese and proposing to Aurelia
  • Sam running through the airport to catch Joanna before she boards her flight
  • And of course, the beginning and ending montages of airport footage!
(Image via Huffington Post)
(Image via Huffington Post)
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