Yesterday was a snow day. A snow day where it rained a lot. Being trapped in the house one week before Christmas with seven kids… yeah. Let us draw a curtain over yesterday, because it was not a fun day.
By the time the last kid finally went to bed (after hogging my laptop for half an hour so he could play Angry Birds, natch) I was done in. I had Big Plans to finally get the gift-wrapping
done started, but I only got as far as opening up all the shipping boxes and sorting the contents into piles by kid.
I had a little snack and started watching Love Actually.
A word about one of my favourite little Christmas movies.
It seems to be 2013’s chosen holiday whipping-boy.
Last year, it was Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Remember that? Admitting that you liked the song drew accusations of participating in rape culture. Everyone had an opinion. Some were pretty strident. Seemed like every day some new article was linked in my Facebook news feed telling me that humming cheerfully along with Dean Martin meant I was history’s greatest monster, and it got so tiresome.
Finally this year someone sent me this link from Persephone Magazine that neatly articulated my own personal interpretation of the song, so whew! I can relax. And I’m not hearing as much faux outrage (fauxtrage?) online this year anyway, so I can relax on that score.
This year, everyone is instead ripping apart Love Actually.
I’m not saying it’s a perfect movie. It is not. But these are just some of the reactions I’ve been reading this year:
- the women in the movie have no voice; they are all passive vessels
- there is fat-shaming, particularly in the Natalie storyline, but also around Aurelia’s sister
- the Jamie/Aurelia storyline is ridiculous because they never actually talk together & yet agree to marry
- Colin, UK sex god, is horrible because he only goes to America looking to get laid
- Harry is a bad husband and Mia is an unrepentant hussy
- Mark is a textbook Nice Guy who lusts after his best friend’s wife & unfairly dumps that knowledge on her
And on, and on.
To which I say yes, all of those points are probably true.
And *leans in* I don’t care.
The only storyline that I actually can’t watch because it’s too cringe-worthy is the Sarah/Karl one, probably because Laura Linney and Rodrigo Santoro have zero chemistry. I can’t believe that they have been secretly crushing on one another for two years because it is so painfully awkward every time they are in the same room together. I skipped it last night (yay for DVR!) because it is such a bringdown… although this made me think:
And I think that’s fair, even if the actors couldn’t pull it off convincingly.
Anyway, I love it. I get all weepy and sniffly when the storylines start wrapping up at the end. Unlike Lindy West at Jezebel, I don’t feel this way about airports:
We open in a fucking airport. A fucking AIRPORT!!! Of course Love Actually, the apex of cynically vacant faux-motional cash-grab garbage cinema would hang its BIG METAPHOR on the bleak, empathy-stripped cathedral of turgid bureaucracy known as “the airport.” Of course. And then, of course, Hugh Grant’s voice pipes in to tell us how inspiring and magical the airport is, because when you’re at the airport you can’t help but notice that “love actually IS all around.” THE FUCKING AIRPORT!!!!!
If that’s not the epitome of unexamined privilege—declaring that the airport is your favorite place—then I don’t know what is. Welcome to Love Actually.
I do in fact love the arrivals area at any airport, because you DO see people when they are super-happy, and if you can stand there frowning and grumbling at the arrivals area you probably have no soul.
Without a doubt my favourite part of the whole movie is the relationship between Daniel and Sam. I’d watch a whole movie with those two.
Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is to all of this, except that I’m kind of wondering what will be next Christmas’ victim.