With the onset of December every year, the air suddenly gets thick with the familiar melodies of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and cosy, holiday-themed movie nights beckon. In this festive atmosphere, one film that consistently finds its place on screens around the world is Richard Curtis’s Love Actually.
Released 20 years ago, in 2003, Love Actually has become a nostalgic favourite. However, in the light of evolving perspectives, some of its storylines have not aged very well, sparking discussions on the film’s enduring legacy. Nonetheless, it remains a timeless holiday staple.
In 2013, during the 10th anniversary of Love Actually, Richard Curtis made a fascinating revelation, likening his creation to Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction. Curtis expressed his love for multiple storylines but acknowledged the challenges they presented. “This film is my Pulp Fiction,” Curtis told The Guardian. “I love multiple storylines, but I soon realised how tricky they are,” Curtis admitted.
He revealed that initially, the film boasted 14 different love stories, only to be trimmed down due to the excessive length that would have pushed it to be. Two completed storylines were sacrificed, hidden treasures that viewers never had the chance to witness.
Curtis reminisced, “At first, we had 14 different love stories, but the result was too long, so four ended up going, including two we’d actually shot. One was based on a poster in Alan Rickman’s office of two women in Africa. The camera actually went into the poster and heard them talking about their daughters’ love lives. Another involved Emma Thompson’s son getting into trouble at school and the camera following the harsh headmistress home.”
In retrospect, Love Actually remains a beloved holiday classic for good reason. It offers a mix of charm, humour, and heart along with good storytelling, which most modern holiday films lack.
You can watch Love Actually on Netflix and catch the trailer here: