The holidays are great time to nuzzle up to your loved ones under a blanket and watch movies, and somehow I got conned into watching this one. Worse yet, it’s becoming one of those classic ‘Christmas’ movies even though it’s absolute trash. I usually hesitate to make overt claims about anything within the realms of the ‘arts,’ but the amount of praise this movie gets is the straw the broke the camel’s back:
1. It’s Pretentious
The movie starts with a depiction of 9/11 and then says something like “despite all this, I see love all around. If you look carefully, you might see it, too.” I almost turned the movie off in the first 30 seconds. This sad excuse for a writer, Richard Curtis, starts preaching in the first minute and says he’s going to tell me what love is? Go fuck yourself, Richard. Don’t tell me what love is. This guy really thinks that he’s going to offer an accurate portrayal of the most intangible concept of all time? Thousands of songs, books, artists and other people who don’t breathe the fecal fumes of their own asshole have given their subjective portrayal of what they believe ‘love’ is, but Richard’s gonna come right out of the gates saying, “Nah, this is it.”
2. It’s Hyper-Unrealistic
There’s eight characters ‘falling in love’ in this cluttered manifesto of Alzheimer’s affect on writing. There’s one character, an unhappy writer, who falls in love with his servant who doesn’t speak English. I shit you not, there’s about three one-minute scenes before we’re supposed to accept they’re meant for each other; here’s how they go: guy spills coffee, girl starts to clean, guy helps her clean and bumps into her, they stare at each other awkwardly, guy kicks himself for being awkward. The girl is way out of this guy’s league, which explains his awkwardness, but Richard’s basically copping out of having to write any actual bonding. You know, the stuff that happens when two people get to know each other? This is how all eight characters fall in ‘love,’ through awkward moments. All the while our old pal Richard’s just saying, “See, love at first sight. Fuck sharing each other’s lives and common interests.”
3. It’s Not Love
This is surface-level attraction and lust. Sometimes that’s a good starting point, but lets revisit this frustrated writer with the super hot servant. This guy is unhappy, depressed, and anxious. In one of the terrible scenes, his papers fly into a pond and the servant takes off her top, nudges out of her skirt, and dives in after them. The writer feels bad and jumps in after her. Ooh, what a moment, right? Wrong. This is that cliché, ‘Guy can’t get out of his head then girl makes him do something risky that makes him feel alive’ – moment. She is his drug. She is what he thinks was missing in his life – why he was unhappy. He will use her until he’s unhappy again then discard her because he thinks she’s why he’s unhappy. Richard’s saying ‘love’ is that thing that temporarily glosses over our insecurities, and I think he should go to hell for it.
4. It’s Immoral
There’s another character who was in charge of filming his best friend’s wedding, but ended up only filming his best friend’s fiancée because he was in ‘love’ with her. Then he visits her, confesses his love, and she runs into the street and kisses him. Firstly, fuck that guy for being a terrible best friend. I get it; Richard’s trying to say, “love is complicated and unpredictable blah blah,” but come on. Really? You’re going to betray your friend’s trust because you lack self-control? Yeah, your friend has a hot wife, just because you also think she’s hot doesn’t mean you’re in love with her. Imagine how awkward it’s going to be the next time he’s over at his best friends house.
5. It’s Worse Than Cosmo
It really is. Cosmo is terrible because it preys on our insecurities and purports people’s opinions as valuable relationship advice. It’s worse than Cosmo because people actually watch this shit and think it’s true, then go through life waiting to spill coffee and have an awkward exchange, film their best friend’s wedding and jack-off to his wife, or something else as ridiculous or disgusting.
I know what you’re thinking, “Dude, it’s a movie, it’s not real.” I know that, thank you. But if you’re starting a movie and telling me it’ll be about ‘love,’ fiction or otherwise, it should contain some realistic elements of chemistry and not this cliché, superficial awkwardness. In my opinion, people should connect on something other than infatuation and awkwardness if they’re going to jump to the conclusion it’s ‘love’. It might actually require a conscious effort. It might make you feel complete, but I think you need to love yourself before you can love someone else. Either way, this movie blows. Fuck you, Richard.