Do you know when you’re assigned a novel for your English project? While there is some hesitation at first, it’s within the first few pages of diving into another world where you realize quickly and effortlessly why it came into your life at that divine and perfect moment. Well, that’s me with Love Actually, the next film in our Nerds Gets Cheery series where we at Nerds and Beyond wish to fill your Christmas stockings with some festive narratives.
My heart belongs to rom-coms, whether it’s the High School Musical variety where two poppy high school students fall in love at first meet at a ski resort on New Year’s Eve to the wonderful assortment that is Nicholas Sparks. So, really, it makes no factual sense that I hadn’t seen Love Actually up until this point. At its core, the film is about falling in, falling out, and while the tides of love change, it actually is all around us.
It’s in the first glance across the room where you see a stranger, but you know upon instinct they’re meant to be someone more. For those who are avid watchers of the film every Christmas, you’d understand the example I’m pointing to is the Prime Minister’s (did we ever really catch his name?) and Natalie’s first greeting. Natalie was only a bumbling fool because she knew he might be an elusive one. Then, it’s in the grand gestures that come afterward when you know for sure you don’t want to let that person go without them first knowing what they truly mean to you. Of course, there are various examples of this in the film. You have a shy little Sam building up enough courage to chase after his peer, Joanna, in the airport, in spite of thinking she didn’t know his name. To the infamous scene of Mark stripping every card away until it tells the fundamental truth that he believes she, Juliet, is perfect, and while he can’t have her, that doesn’t change how he feels.
Then love can become a little trickier, since it doesn’t always go linearly. Instead, it’s curvaceous and frustrating. It happens at the most opportune times when, maybe by principle, your heart belongs to someone, but there’s still a tiny part of you where it has faded for that particular person, so you try to find it elsewhere. Hence us hating Alan Rickman’s character, Harry, forever. Or even though it’s hard, there’s still a way. It translates through language barriers and taking those who have always been near us for granted.
Perhaps Love Actually is the dosage of hope we need every Christmas, as some point out it’s the loneliest time of the year. The film shows us it’s the purest emotion worth fighting for. And while we may be uncertain or doubtful as to if the person on the other side truly feels the same way as we do — if we can’t make our feelings known now, during the holidays where the strings of lights are as pretty as the person we desire, then when can we?
As our countdown quickly descends until the day we’re all waiting for, make sure to come back tomorrow for another festive recommendation. Merry Christmas!