Aussie’s Hot Take On Why We Shouldn’t Cancel Love Actually
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An Aussie writer has gone into detail about why Love Actually shouldn't be cancelled by modern audiences.
Let me start this off by saying I understand the Christmas film holds a very special place in a number of people's hearts, particularly around this holiday time, but I don't get it.
I find Love Actually painful and cringeworthy and The Holiday absolutely craps all over it in the holiday romance movie stakes.
But, I will put that hatred aside to welcome in Kathy Parker's view on why Love Actually shouldn't be cancelled by modern audiences.
Ms Parker says we should put aside our petty quibbles with Love Actually and appreciate it for the serotonin boost it really is, in the form of a trashy Christmas romcon.
The usual argument laid against Love Actually is that a lot of the storylines skew towards the misogynistic.
From Hugh Grant's Prime Minister and his affair with the 'chubby' PA and Colin Firth's relationship with a woman who he doesn't understand, to the whole painful saga around Keira Knightley and Emma Thompson, women don't do well in Love Actually.
But Parker's piece combats all of those issues, problematic moment by problematic moment.
The first 'outlandish feminist myth' Parker tackles is Colin Firth's character Jamie and his relationship with Aurelia.
Some argue Aurelia is basically 'sex trafficked' to France to work for Firth, who doesn't speak the same language as her, meaning neither of them understand each other.
While sex trafficking is probably a little much, Parker argues that while it may be a little ridiculous that they fall for each other without exchanging a single word, they have a clear bond that can be seen in the film, so the relationship is A-Ok.
Personally, I find Jamie and Aurelia's relationship the least offensive part of Love Actually, so I'm firmly on Parker's side for this one.
The next one to tackle is the Prime Minister and the PA.
Parker points out that while PA Natalie makes it clear that her ex-boyfriend was very gross about her weight, from that point on, any reference to her weight is 'ironic humour'.
Martine McCutcheon, the actor who plays Natalie, has actually backed this up herself in an interview with Cosmopolitan, so I suppose we have to accept it.
Next up is Knightley (Juliet), and her love triangle with Andrew Lincoln (Mark) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Peter).
"Mark is not a creepy sociopathic stalker," she argues. "He is just some guy majorly suffering the agony of unrequited love."
Yeah cool, but if someone says they're going to film my wedding and I get back a Blair Witch-style video with weird close ups of my face I will be calling the police.
Parker also says that Mark never actually tries to 'cut Peter's grass', while I would argue that staging a real life Powerpoint at the front door is precisely the act of attempting to cut someone's grass.
We can skip over Kris Marshall (Colin) and his objectification of women, because Parker and I are in agreement that he's a douche and there's nothing more to say on that one.
Next we've got perhaps the worst part of Love Actually, Thompson, Alan Rickman and Heike Makatsch as Karen, Harry and Mia.
Parker's argument here is that this storyline, the temptation men face throughout their life, is the most realistic storyline in the movie and Karen's reaction to the betrayal is some of the most raw and real emotion we see in the film.
Sure. I agree with that, to an extent, but I don't think the fact the storyline is realistic makes it ok.
We get literally no storyline behind Mia, other than her being a temptress hellbent on securing Harry, and Karen is essentially a wet mop in human form for most of the film.
It might not be enough to warrant the cancelling of Love Actually, but it's certainly a crap way to tell a story.
The last point made is that the Prime Minister's decision to refer to Margaret Thatcher as a 'saucy minx' does not make him a misogynist, and sure, I don't think Thatcher has many fans here to defend her.
I don't know if the 'smear campaign' against Love Actually is because it needs to be cancelled, or because the 'Gen Z'ers' that have been accused of writing the 'spate of articles' are just watching the film for the first time after seeing it put on a holiday movie pedestal and wondering why.
Love Actually isn't the only beloved film that doesn't hold up to the test of time - a lot of 90s teen comedies have aged terribly. Rewatching Sixteen Candles is not a fun experience and we're even looking back at older Disney movies and questioning some of the inclusions.
Does this mean we shouldn't be watching them? If Love Actually is your Christmas movie of choice then go off, watch it till your heart is content.
Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film