RARELY HAS THE POWER OF CINEMA BEEN FELT BY SO MANY, IN SUCH OPPOSING WAYS…
“Love Actually dulls the critical senses, making those susceptible to its hallucinogenic powers think they’ve seen a funny, warm-hearted, romantic film about the many complex manifestations of love. Colourful Narcotics. A perfect description of a bafflingly popular film.”
By any reasonable measurement, Love Actually is a bad movie. There are plenty of bad movies out there, but what gets under Gary Raymond’s skin here is that it seems to have tricked so many people into thinking it’s a good movie. In this hilarious, scene-by-scene analysis of the Christmas monolith that is Love Actually, Gary Raymond takes us through a suffocating quagmire of badly drawn characters, nonsensical plotlines, and open bigotry, to a climax of ill-conceived schmaltz.
How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) is the definitive case against a terrible movie. With a foreword by Lisa Smithstead.
Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor, and broadcaster. He is presenter of The Review Show for BBC Radio Wales and editor of Wales Arts Review. He is a regular writer on film, music, literature, and theatre, and can often be heard on BBC Radio 3 and 4 as an arts commentator and reviewer. His novels include For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015), The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018), and the upcoming Angels of Cairo (Parthian, 2021).
Love Actually is the worst Christmas film ever, possibly one of the worst films. So I went into reading this knowing that I already agreed with the title – I refuse to sit through this deeply weird and very rubbish film every year.
Gary Raymond breaks down the film scene by scene and examines its lazy plotting, terrible script, casual misogyny and fatphobia, and the total lack of good jokes. The excellent actors are totally wasted on the ghastly plots, some of which never seem to actually go anywhere (poor Laura Linney).
I found myself nodding along to Raymond’s excellent dissection of this genuinely terrible film and wishing Richard Curtis had just done a Vicar of Dibley special instead.
An excellent book for anyone who likes film, Christmas and would rather poke themselves in the eye with a roast parsnip that sit through the drivel that is Love Actually again this Christmas. 2020 has been bad enough, do yourself a favour and watch literally anything else. Or read this book.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.