Love Actually

January 1, 2017 - Love manifests itself in different ways for different people in this holiday-themed film from 2003. The cast features Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth and Alan Rickman.

The action takes place just before Christmas in London, where it seems everyone is having love problems of some sort. Hugh Grant plays the new British Prime Minister who promptly falls for one of his staffers. Emma Thompson plays his sister. She suspects her husband (Alan Rickman) is having an affair with one of his employees. Another of Rickman's employees (Laura Linney) can't have a relationship of her own because she's devoted to her institutionalized brother.

Then there's the recent widower (Liam Neeson) who's helping his 10-year-old stepson pursue the girl of his dreams. And, we can't forget the guy who's in love with his best friend's wife and uses cue cards to prove it. Everywhere you look, there's love – and, a lot of the time, it sucks.

Overall review: ** Not a terrible movie, but not great, either. I think the main problem here is that there are too many stories crammed into the film. There's very little character development, although Thompson and Rickman do their best. So does Laura Linney. Mostly, it's just a mish-mash of loosely connected vignettes. It feels pretty good while you're watching, but later on, you wonder what all the fuss was about.