Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Romance Trailer” at the Golden Trailer Awards. It lost to The Cooler. Do I need to rewatch the trailer for The Cooler? How romantic did they make it?

• Best Scenes/Moments: The subplot with Liam Neeson enthusiastically rallying his stepson to pursue his crush in school. It works really well because you get why Neeson is leaning into it so much without the movie ever calling it out.

• Best Song: Love Actually has a solid soundtrack so this is difficult. I guess I’ll go with “All Alone on Christmas” by Darlene Love but I also really like “Sweetest Goodbye” by Maroon 5 and “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling.

• Best Merch: A “Love Actually Colin Firth Signed/Autograph/Auto Certified Movie Trading Card” for $29.99. That’s actually a pretty good price but why did someone make Love Actually trading cards? I love Firth’s expression on the card. This would be a great thing to buy and wrap in an elegant box with a bow on it and give to someone as a present on Christmas. It would make me laugh. Kudos to whoever made this because it looks like an ‘80s Topps baseball card. It’s a solid design is all I’m saying.

• Writer/Director Grade: Love Actually was the directorial debut of Richard Curtis (who also wrote the film). Prior to this movie, I was familiar with Curtis as a screenwriter from Notting Hill (which I thought was pretty good and rented well when I worked at Blockbuster Video) and Bridget Jones’s Diary (which I was curious enough to see in theaters but didn’t jive with very much). In 2003, Love Actually was my favorite of the bunch that I had seen and made me a Richard Curtis fan. That designation has slowly chipped away over time. Curtis hasn’t directed too many films since (I haven’t seen 2009’s The Boat That Rocked), but many of the ones after Love Actually where he was credited as a screenwriter haven’t worked for me, including Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Yesterday. He’s credited as a writer on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse which is fine, but I never think of that as a Richard Curtis piece. His best other movie is one he directed in 2013: About Time, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy. It’s pretty good even though it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be when I saw it in theaters. I remember a young Margot Robbie had a supporting role and I was like “Who the hell is that?!!!” which is impressive because I’m always ride or die for McAdams. Gleeson had great choices in that movie is what I’m saying. Overall, I like the idea of Richard Curtis movies more than I like Richard Curtis movies but he’s someone whose involvement in a movie is more of a pro for me than a con. Overall Grade: B-

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Elf
• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before Them: Bad Santa, Down with Love, Something’s Gotta Give

Draft Day or Love Actually? Draft Day

• Mall Movie? Not really. This would play at the fancy theater in town throughout the holidays. It might play at the mall briefly after Christmas.

• Only in 2003: Everywhere you go (especially at work) and anyone you talk to can be your romantic mark. I get that sensibilities were different in 2003 (in media in particular) and “going for it” is the point of the movie but watching some scenes in Love Actually in 2023 is like “Time’s Up is all around me” as much as “Love is all around me.” Does that ruin the movie for me? No. Should it be ignored? Probably not. This is definitely a case of the movie staying the same, but I’ve changed over 20 years and so has my reaction to some of Love Actually, which is totally fine.

• Scene Stealers (tie): Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson.

• I Miss: Alan Rickman.

• I Don’t Miss: Mia (played by Heike Makatsch). Stop being a homewrecker, you asshole!
• 2003 Crush (tie): Keira Knightley and Laura Linney.

• 2023 Crush: Martine McCutcheon.

• What I Thought in 2003: I saw Love Actually at the dollar theater, and really enjoyed it. It was heartfelt, funny, and entertaining. I was in love at the time, so I was like “Gimme all you got, romance!” This was also the peak of my Hugh Grant fandom after About a Boy and Two Weeks Notice.

• What I Think in 2023: I think it’s somewhere between fine and pretty good nowadays. I was more of a hopeless romantic in 2003, whereas now I’m more realistic and considerate so it’s tougher for me to think every storyline in the movie is cute. Still, there are a few standout segments (primarily the ones where I named the actors as “scene stealers”) and the movie’s smarter and funnier than many of its contemporary romantic comedies so it still should get credit for that.

1 comment:

  1. The trailer for "The Cooler" presents it as a compelling love story with elements of drama and comedy. If you're interested in comparing it to the one that was nominated for "Best Romance Trailer", rewatching could be beneficial to understand why it won. However, remember that awards are subjective and your personal taste might differ.
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