+
Pop Culture

Director and cast of 'Love Actually' share why the beloved Christmas rom-com was such a hit

Twenty years later, and it's still a Christmas classic.

love actually, love actually special

Writer/Director Richard Curtis and Emma Thompson

Since its release in 2003, the Christmas-themed rom-com "Love Actually" captured hearts and became one of the most beloved holiday films of all time. True to its title, the film celebrated love—all kinds of love—as it actually is, and managed to maintain optimism without being overly saccharine. This, coupled with a truly stellar ensemble, made it so well received among audiences, despite the mixed reviews from critics.

Nearly 20 years later, the film’s writer and director Richard Curtis (who also brought us "Notting Hill" and "Bridget Jones’ Diary") reflects back on why it might have meant so much to so many people. As an artist who has made a name for himself creating enduring love stories, perhaps it’s no surprise that he feels it’s something the world is in constant need of.


As part of the ABC special “The Laughter and Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later”, Curtis told host Diane Sawyer “we get thousands of films about serial killers and there's only ever been about nine of them.”

"And yet," he continued," there'll be a million people falling in love, feeling it's the most interesting moment of their lives. Good deeds inside families, and good deeds inside communities.” He went on to remark that during the COVID-19 pandemic people displayed an “extraordinary sort of bravery and heroism.”

“Every day has the potential, in all its simplicity, just to be gorgeous,' he concluded.

Curtis also noted that despite its timeless themes, that there are definitely some choices he would no longer make. “Thank god, society is changing. So, my film is bound, in some moments, to feel, you know, out of date. I mean, there are things about the film, you know, the lack of diversity makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit stupid,” he said.

Sawyer held interviews with not only Curtis, but with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson and Martine McCutcheon, who all starred in the movie.


Thompson, who played upper-class mom Karen, and Bill Nighy, who played aging rock star Billy Mack (and, let’s not forget, gave the film its iconic tune “Christmas is All Around”) seconded Curtis’ sentiments.

"Time and time again, we forget that love is all around us," Thompson told Sawyer.. "It's all that matters. [Curtis] reminds us in a film that is very funny about love and all its messiness and its unexpectedness. That you'll find love in the weirdest places."

Similarly, Nighy said "I love films that emphasize how remarkable people can be. It was full of love and heart and all those words that you resist, perhaps, and why not?"

Perhaps it’s this refreshingly positive attitude of appreciating life’s simplest, yet most profound moments that helped the movie defy the odds. After all, even the cast admitted to finding the story pretty out there. Hugh Grant, who played Prime Minister David, joked that he originally thought it was all “a bit psychotic.”

“But the thing is,” he added, “with [Curtis], what you have to remember is when he writes about love, he means it. And that is quite rare."

It’s because of Grant’s commitment to Curtis’ vision that gave us one of his characters most iconic moments—when the Prime Minister gets caught by his secretary while dancing to "Jump (For My Love).”

"I saw it in the script and I thought: 'Well, I'll hate doing that,'" Grant quipped… "No Englishman can dance sober at 8 in the morning." But in the end he honored what he called his "contractual obligation,” though he would like us to know getting caught by the secretary was his (“genius!”) idea.


The special contains all kinds of fun behind the scenes stories that will make you love the film even more. One particularly funny bit is when Curtis shares a story about Keira Knightley wrongly predicting her next role in the major blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” would be a flop. “I remember sitting down with Keira while we were shooting, and saying, ‘what are you doing next?’ And she said, "oh, I don't think it's going to work. It's a pirate film and they always fail.’” Sometimes it’s nice to be very, very wrong.

If you'd like to watch the full special, it's available on Hulu. And if you haven't seen "Love Actually," do yourself a favor and watch it right this second.

Mom's reaction to toddler's self haircut

An unsupervised toddler with a pair of scissors is nightmare fuel for parents.

Will you find shredded books, a hole in your new couch, or a pile of lopped off hair when you emerge from your quick trip to the potty?

Toddlers may still be very young, but they are fast and have a knack for getting ahold of unapproved things quickly, inflicting maximum destruction. TikTok user, @designerluxury4you, shared a video of their toddler proudly showing off the haircut she had given herself.

Experiencing your child giving themselves or their siblings a haircut seems to be a rite of passage for parents.

But the way this mom handled the discovery is showing how gentle parenting is changing the game. It's pretty safe to say that most parents would react in a more expressive way and immediately remove the scissors from the child's hands. This mom responded in the kindest and most respectful way you can imagine and maybe the internet is a little better for having seen it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Woman's viral TikTok praising her 'mommune' has other single moms asking where to sign up

She talked about how she found her chosen family, and how others can form their own.

"This is your sign to move into a Mommune."

The proverb “it takes a village” still holds true, despite communities dwindling in our modern world. Humans in general are hard-wired for collaboration, and when it comes to parenthood—an inherently difficult task—having the help of others can make a world of difference.

That’s why single mom Kristin, who goes by the handle @beachykefer, is sharing the gospel on how her fellow single moms support each other through challenging times, in what she lovingly calls a “mommune.”

In a now viral TikTok, Kristin shared how when she was under the weather (or “sick AF,” as she put it) her mommune not only made her homemade soup and cookies, they took her kids out to the park so she could rest and recover.
Keep ReadingShow less

Toddler helps mom when she's locked out of the house.

Would you be considered human if you haven't locked yourself out of your house at least once? One mom on TikTok found herself in quite the predicament with only her toddler to "mission impossible" his way to unlocking the house door to let his mom, @gesikaaaaaa, inside. The video starts with the camera pointed at a rosy-cheeked toddler on a snow-covered porch.

The boy looks to be no older than 2 or 3 but he's an expert at following directions … sort of. It's all still pretty new to him and, as anyone who's ever interacted with a toddler knows, multistep directions are not the way to go. They tend to hear one thing only and even then are apt to be distracted by a stray piece of lint and not be able to finish the task.

Everything is new to a toddler and it doesn't take much to distract them. And just about anything can be a toy. So when this mom helped her son through an open window in an effort to guide him through the process of unlocking the door, classic toddler cuteness ensued.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

This man may have saved the world from nuclear war. His story is a heart-pumper.

Even if you don't know who Petrov was, he might be the reason you're alive today.

Images in order via Stanislav Petrov/Wikimedia Commons and Image via Pixabay.

Soviet soldier makes a decision that may have saved all life on the planet.

This article originally appeared on 09.20.17


And even if you don't know who Petrov was, he might be the reason you're alive today.

In the 1980s, Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces. He was in charge of watching the computers at one of the Soviety Union's nuclear early warning centers. If the Americans wanted to start a nuclear war, Petrov would be one of the first to know.

At this time, the United States and the Soviet Union were embroiled in the Cold War. Each had stockpiled tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and a nuclear war, though horrific, often seemed imminent.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

A nun and a monk fell in love, quit their monastic lives and got married

Instant chemistry led to a complete life change.

"Love can make a sacrament of everything you do.”

As the saying goes, the heart wants what it wants.

On Jan 2, BBC News shared the most unlikely love story—between a nun and a priest whose instant connection inspired them to leave behind celibacy and instead spend the rest of their lives together.

Lisa Tinkler became a nun at the age of 19, moving from her hometown in Middlesbrough, England, to serve a Roman Catholic convent in Lancashire as Sister Mary Elizabeth.

For 24 years, Sister Mary Elizabeth lived the life of a carmelite nun, meaning most of her time was spent in silent devotion and in a small enclosure with a barred window known as a “grille.” There, she was mostly closed off from the outside world, only seeing her family a few times a year and always from behind the grille.

Though the hermit lifestyle deeply fulfilled Sister Mary Elizabeth’s “interior world,” a chance encounter would turn it all upside down in such a way that even the least religious among us might call it divine intervention.

Keep ReadingShow less

Keanu Reeves deepfakes are impressively real.

Even if they're not sold on him as an actor, people in general love Keanu Reeves as a person. With his down-to-earth vibe and humble acts of kindness, the Canadian star is just a genuinely good guy. Appreciating Keanu Reeves is like an inviolable law of the universe or something.

So it's understandable that people would be eager to follow Reeves on social media—except there's one problem. He has made it clear he doesn't use it.

Some people who come across an "Unreal Keanu" video on TikTok, however, are being duped into thinking he does, despite multiple disclaimers—including the account name—that it's not really his account.

The @unreal_keanu account has more than 8 million followers, some of whom appear to think they're following the actual actor. Whoever owns the account shares fun little video creations with "Keanu Reeves" in various relatable scenarios. He never speaks, so there's no voice to compare to the real deal, but his face and body are a darn good dupe.

Keep ReadingShow less