Grant’s risks pay off in Actually

Hugh Grant is beloved by women for his great charm, beautiful blue eyes and great British accent. He is not, however, beloved by the studios who like to release his movies against some of the biggest franchises of today. Grant’s last two films (Two Weeks Notice and About a Boy) were released against Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Star Wars: Episode II, respectively. This weekend, Love Actually will battle with The Matrix: Revolutions, released simultaneously in 35 mm cinema and IMAX theatres.

It’s true, both Love and Matrix cater to different audiences and, after all, it’s not the opening weekend gross that makes up the most overall profits for the movie; longevity is what really matters. Chances are, Love Actually will remain in theaters at least until the new year because of its Christmas theme. And, of course, the blue eyes of Grant will keep women dragging their husbands, boyfriends and dates to the movies every weekend.

Although Love Actually is not mainly Grant’s movie, his character does not get lost among the almost dozen other characters present in the film. Considering the amount of main figures, the movie is well written with hardly any plot holes. Everyone’s storyline ties in together at the end and the humor, wit and, let’s face it, cuteness seem to never end.

If the United Kingdom was to select all its popular actors and put them into one movie, Love Actually is it. Starting with Grant and Colin Firth, along with Keira Knightly, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson, all the way to Rowan Atkinson, all that Love Actually is missing are Kate Winslet and Judy Dench. In addition, there are a few cameos thrown in from American actors (Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richards just to name a couple).

Love Actually is a Christmas story about love, actually (oh yes, the movie has puns like that as well). And while many individual stories may involve loss or unfulfilled dreams, in the end everyone finds love in one way or another. With seven different main stories there is plenty going on, but not too much to lose the audience.

The film’s script is well written. It flows from one scene to another, eventually connecting all the dots into one clear picture in which everyone comes together. The writing is witty, the situations are funny and the film classifies in several genres, including romantic comedy and Christmas feel-good.

The acting is impeccable. No actor falls through the cracks, and all fit their parts perfectly. With some unknowns to the American public (such as the charming Martine McCutcheon), a few pleasant surprises are in stock to accompany the known and praised actors such as Neeson and Firth.

Love Actually may be coming out a little too soon (considering it’s holiday spirit), but nonetheless it’s an adorable romantic comedy that feels right in any season. While Grant’s box office battle may again end in a fiasco, the film should do well enough over time to justify such a risky move.