ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Love Actually director admitted he regrets controversial joke

Love Actually director admitted he regrets controversial joke

He was asked about the joke by his daughter

Love Actually has remained one of the most iconic Christmas films since it was released 20 years ago, but the world has changed a lot since then.

Some aspects of the festive rom-com haven't aged too well either, including some of the impolite puns and attitudes towards women.

Take a look at one example here:

One consistent joke in particular has weighed heavy on the mind of the movie's writer and director, Richard Curtis.

He admitted he was 'behind the curve' when penning the script and regrets making the weight of one of the leading ladies a punchline throughout Love Actually.

Martine McCutcheon's character Natalie was the butt of the joke in a string of scenes, despite being absolutely stunning.

She is described as being 'massive' and her colleague Annie refers to her as 'the chubby girl' who has a 'sizeable arse and huge thighs'.

Natalie also explained she got dumped because 'nobody wants a girlfriend with thighs the size of tree trunks', while her on-screen father also calls her 'plumpy'.

Two decades on, viewers now watch the film through a completely different lens and have called out its creators for 'body shaming' Martine, who was then 27 years old.

Martine McCutcheon's character was routinely teased for her weight in the film.
Universal Pictures

Discussing the controversy at the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Curtis expressed his regret.

He said: "I think I was behind, you know, behind the curve.

"Those jokes aren’t any longer funny, so I don’t feel I was malicious at the time, but I think I was unobservant and not as, you know, as clever as I should have been."

Martine has also previously opened up about some of the problematic aspects of Love Actually.

Love Actually, which boasted an all star cast, was released in 2003.
Dave Benett/Getty Images

She told Metro that she was sure if Curtis was making the beloved movie now he would have never included the jibes about her weight.

The actor, 47, said: "There’s a lot of things that happen in it that aren’t PC, that aren’t perfect, that aren’t something you should want ideally. But they are real human emotions, and human beings aren’t always perfect.

“And there’s something about Natalie’s vulnerability, and I think Richard wanted a character who didn’t realise what she had.

"She didn’t realise that actually it was her boyfriend who was the idiot and there was nothing wrong with her at all, she was lovely as she was.

"The fact she was so open to the most powerful man in the country about her little vulnerability about herself was a very human thing. I think that’s part of what makes it human, and the fact it’s very real.

"Because, sadly, women are hard on themselves, and we’re hard on each other, still. The main comments are from Natalie herself and from another woman in that film."

Curtis also revealed how he decided on one of the most memorable Love Actually scenes, where Mark (Andrew Lincoln) declares his love for Juliet (Kiera Knightley) using handwritten cue cards.

He explained: "I came up with four things Mark could do as his big gesture. The people in the office chose their favourite and I went for it.

"I wonder: do we all regret the choice now?"

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Topics: TV and Film, Christmas, Celebrity