Lessons Learned from ‘Love Actually’

I’m guessing that if you clicked this link, you are a fan of Love Actually. When you’re not watching it in the middle of the summer on a random Tuesday night, you probably snuggle up on the couch each December in your red snowflake pajamas, sipping your hot cocoa as you root for the romantic heroes of this holiday tale.

As I mentioned last year when I posted lessons learned from The Holiday, it took me a while to really get on board the Love Actually train. I pick and choose the parts I love and fast forward through the parts that make me sad. Basically I watch the Prime Minster fall in love with Natalie, sigh as Colin Firth does Colin Firth and smile when little Sam declares Joanna is the one.

Love Actually

Love Actually hit theaters on November 2003.

I sound like my mother when I say, “That can’t be right, can it? Has it really been that long? Surely not.”

The Google confirms that 13 years ago, a holiday trailer debuted depicting nine intertwined stories with one main thread: love.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned from Love Actually:

  • “All I Want For Christmas” sounds good no matter who sings it.
  • Mariah’s version will always be my favorite.
  • Keira Knightley is able to act in a movie that isn’t a period piece.
  • Adapting popular music lyrics into a Christmas song is a tricky game of rhythm and syllables.
  • Purchase the Love Actually soundtrack.
  • Listen to Lynden David Hall’s version of “All You Need Is Love” on repeat.
  • Confused about how to jump start your spotty love life? Re-enact scenes from Titanic.
  • Stand-in actors for porno movies deserve love too.
  • Carl is hot.
  • Margaret Thatcher was a saucy minx.
  • Never write your manuscript on a typewriter out by the lake.
  • Use something bigger than a rock to weigh down your very big manuscript when writing out by the lake.
  • Always wear matching bra and panties in case a manuscript goes flying into the lake and you have to jump in to save it.
  • No one will fancy a girl with thighs the size of tree trunks unless they are the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • If you’re in love with your best friend’s girl, the most appropriate behavior is to confess your feelings via cardboard testimony.
  • Love transcends language barriers.
  • Girls Gone Wild is America’s footprint on the world.
  • Plumpy is a horrible nickname.
  • Colin Firth will forever be Mr. Darcy.
  • Alan Rickman will forever be Professor Snape.
  • Billy Bob Thornton will forever be skeevy.
  • Joni Mitchell can teach a cold, English woman how to feel.
  • When someone asks you to dance to a Norah Jones song, you say yes.
  • A stuffed animal teddy bear can breathe if you are forced to shove him under the bed.
  • Carl is still hot.
  • “Jump” by the Pointer Sisters is the original “Shake It Off.”
  • It’s helpful to have a driver who can take you to the dodgy end of Wadsworth at a moment’s notice.
  • Be able to carol on demand. Have a few selections in your back pocket should the need arise. Choose something other than “Good King Wenceslas.” Perhaps prepare something that’s a little more universally known.
  • Dressing women in Santa suits from the naughty aisle at Party City makes “Addicted to Love” even more scandalous.
  • Invest in a good red coat.
  • Airport rules do not apply when you are in love.
  • Romantic grand gestures are a lost art. Let’s bring them back.
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December 7, 2016 1:19 pm

There are sooooo many things wrong with this movie … I really and truly wanted to like this film I really did.

December 7, 2016 1:25 pm

Another lesson: ” 8 is a lot of legs!”

December 7, 2016 1:27 pm

Love love love this movie. Carl is a stone cold fox and I love Natalie and David!

December 7, 2016 1:28 pm

HA~ I just watched this a couple of weekends ago! I adore Hugh Grant in this movie. I have two songs to add from the sound track. The Trouble with Love by Kelly Clarkson and Otis Reddings’ version of White Christmas. I just bought the soundtrack last night. I think the caroling is hilarious and pretty accurate for an Englishman.

Ashley Stanislav
Ashley Stanislav
December 7, 2016 2:33 pm

If you’ve never listened to Sleeping at Last’s Christmas album you need to ASAP! His cover of “Christmas is All Around” is so good.

December 7, 2016 3:28 pm

Alan Rickman will always be Colonel Brandon to me (swoon) because (Jane Austen trumps J.K. Rowling)

December 13, 2016 3:48 pm
Reply to  TexasRed

Totally AGREE!!!

December 7, 2016 4:35 pm

Love, love this movie. And even though All I want for Christmas sounds fab no matter who sings it, Mariah’s version is the best.
Carl is always HOT
Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy and Alan Rickman will always be Colonel Brandon.
Watching it tonight!!

December 7, 2016 4:45 pm

To me Alan Rickman will always be Colonel Brandon with Hans Gruber thrown in for a good measure!! Plus Jamie from Truly, Madly, Deeply!

The scenes that I always fast forward involve Laura Linney. I cannot put myself in her shoes, with a brother with special needs, but I don’t think she always has to be at his beck and call. She could and should have had the romance she had been dreaming of for how many years? Why couldn’t she have asked the people at the home he lives at to let him know that she would be unavailable for a few hours?

Also fun is to see who has become a big star since 2003! Martin Freeman, Andrew Lincoln, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, etc.

Carol Wallace
Carol Wallace
December 7, 2016 5:36 pm

We took an older couple to this movie, and were so mortified when the porn movie scenes came up! They still tease us about it. Don’t know if they have ever been back to the theatre again! I love it except for that part!

December 7, 2016 6:32 pm

My grown up self has loved this movie but also has a hard time laughing now at the parts about the love affair played by Alan Rickman.

December 12, 2016 12:38 pm

*If you MUST sing Good King Wenscelas, make sure you have a British secret service agent that also is training in opera as your back up singer.

Also-men will make time for things that are important to them. Colin Firth learned a whole new language in what seemed like 1 week so he could go and profess his love to Aurelia.

December 13, 2016 3:55 pm

I love this movie, so glad you wrote about it. Love Actually, The Holiday and the Family Man are my modern Christmas favorites.

January 12, 2022 4:20 pm


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