From the screenwriter behind Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Bridget Jones’ Diary, Richard Curtis’ Love Actually (2003) is arguably one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. Since its 2003 release, it has been widely regarded as an essential part of the festive season; for many, Christmas certainly wouldn’t be Christmas without it. From hilarious to heart-breaking, the film interweaves multiple characters and narratives in its attempts to explore love in its many forms. After all, who doesn’t want to believe that “love is all around” at Christmas?
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10. Colin Goes to an American Bar
After deciding he is on the wrong continent for love, Colin Frissell (Kris Marshall) travels to America, because “any bar anywhere in America contains ten girls more beautiful and more likely to have sex with [him] than the whole of the United Kingdom”.
Sure enough, not one but three beautiful American women are charmed by his cute British accent and invite him to their place (after warning him that they only have one bed and no pyjamas).
Colin’s Christmas gets even merrier when they tell him that he hasn’t met their fourth housemate Harriet, and “she is the sexy one”.
9. So Much More Than a Bag
In a rush to buy an expensive gold necklace for the woman with whom he may or may not be having an affair, Harry (Alan Rickman) wants to grab it and go, but the shop assistant (Rowan Atkinson) has other plans when he agrees to have it gift wrapped.
After placing it in a box, he ties it with a bow before delicately wrapping it in cellophane. Rickman anxiously glances over his shoulder as Atkinson slides open a drawer to retrieve tiny, dried roses, which he sprinkles lovingly. Atkinson then meticulously crushes fresh lavender. An increasingly agitated Rickman urges the man to hurry, to which he agrees, before slowly attaching a large cinnamon stick with a ribbon. As Atkinson retrieves a pair of garden gloves to add some holly, an exasperated Rickman asks – “what else are you going to do? Dip it in yoghurt? Cover it in chocolate buttons?!” All the while, his wife Karen grows increasingly near.