Behind the scenes of the Red Nose Day Love Actually ‘sequel’ short
British charity Comic Relief is getting the Love Actually band back together for a short film that will revisit the characters from Richard Curtis’ 2003 romantic comedy and see what they’re up to in 2017. The short, Red Nose Day Actually, is being made in support of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day fundraiser, which airs March 24 on BBC One.
The cast members returning include Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martine McCutcheon, Olivia Olson and Rowan Atkinson.
“If you’re lucky, your life will be 60 percent happy. There are too many complications for anyone to get to 100 percent. But if you’ve got love, then sometimes it feels like 100 percent happiness, and that’s a wonderful thing.”
Now I know it’s not Christmas, but as it is Red Nose Day and the epic Red Nose Day actually was on today… I had to have today’s quote of the day from this! And what is better than a young Andrew Lincoln being completely adorable 😍😫😭👏🏼 - “To me, you are perfect. And my wasted heart will love you - Until you look like this *shows picture of mummy*” I love this film so much, it is one of my all time favourites 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Predictions: Is there anyone who has not seen this movie?? If you have not seen this movie, GET OUT NOW and go watch this movie. We had obviously seen this movie about a million times, so we had no predictions.
Plot: Ah, Love Actually. The movie that began this questionable trend of holiday-themed movies with way too many characters who all know each other in different ways. Thankfully, though, it’s not called Christmas, or Christmas Day, or Six Weeks Leading Up To Christmas. Starring every British actor you’ve ever heard of, Love Actually is about the idea that love is all around. Gross, right? No, it’s super charming, shut up.
In order of appearance: Bill Nighy is a washed-up pop star who makes a comeback by adapting one of his greatest hits and turning it into a cheesy Christmas single. He realizes that, more than fame or sex or whatever, his greatest love is actually his best friend, his manager. Colin Firth is a cuckolded writer who runs away to France and meets a Portuguese girl there. They fall in love, despite not speaking the same language, and he eventually goes to…France? Portugal? to…propose???? Liam Neeson is the widowed stepfather of 11-year-old Thomas Sangster, who has fallen in love with one of his classmates. He wins her heart by…learning to play the drums? with Liam Neeson’s support, and Liam Neeson meets Claudia Schiffer, to boot.
New paragraph – too many storylines! Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman are married, but then his eye wanders to his weirdly sexually aggressive secretary (WHY ARE YOU HITTING ON HIM, LADY???? HE IS MARRIED, AND ALSO OLD), but then Alan Rickman regrets his choices, as well he should. Kris Marshall, a creeper weirdo, announces to his friend that it’s not him, it’s England, and American girls would love him, due to his British accent. Sadly, he…is not mistaken???? Martin Freeman and Joanna Page meet as naked stand-ins and fall in love. Chiwetel Ejiofor marries Keira Knightley, but then Andrew Lincoln, his best friend, inexplicably confesses his love for her also???????? Like, not in a predatory way, but still, seems SUPER WEIRD. YOU ARE A WEIRD BEST FRIEND.
Last but not least, newly-appointed Prime Minister Hugh Grant gets together with some girl who works for him (after some obligatory shenanigans; they’re pretty cute), and Laura Linney gives up Rodrigo Santoro to be with her mentally-ill brother on Christmas. Ah, the holidays. Isn’t love grand? This movie is so much more delightful than all the movies that came after it. It is R-rated, so more risqué than any of them, and yet SOMEHOW MORE CLASSY???? Much more classy. Maybe it’s because it’s half-British. ;)
Also, RIP Alan Rickman, the classiest of us all (in real life; sadly not so much in this movie). We will miss your eyebrows.
Best Scene: At one point, would-be cheater cheater pumpkin eater Alan Rickman is trying to purchase a necklace for his secretary (!!!! NO. DON’T DO IT, ALAN RICKMAN) and has the misfortune of being helped by salesperson Rowan Atkinson. Rowan Atkinson spends basically a year wrapping the gift, and it is marvelous. Everything he does is a Christmas miracle, not to mention the look on Alan Rickman’s face at every additional frill. Runner-up: Prime Minister Hugh Grant and his door-to-door search for his hopefully-girlfriend.
Worst Scene: When Kris Marshall arrives in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin debases itself in the form of FOUR HOT GIRLS who, for some reason, share ONE BED and are eager to bring this British stranger into it. Not that we mind seeing surprise!Elisha Cuthbert and her hot friends, but like…what is even happening here???? Was Richard Curtis writing a porno, but then lost his funding, and thought, well, God, I’d hate to waste this amazing scene I already wrote?!
Best Line: This entire film is VERY funny and touching, so it’s hard to pick just one line, or even three or four. Everything that comes out of Emma Thompson’s mouth is amazing. Colin Firth’s bilingual interactions with Lúcia Moniz are very funny. Prime Minister Hugh Grant is exactly as you would imagine.
Worst Line: Probably something that either Kris Marshall or one of his new American lady friends says, because why.
Highlights of the Watching Experience: So, like, if Keira Knightley turned up at your door, asking to see the wedding video that you obviously shot but equally obviously can never show her, maybe you could (1) shut the door in her face because she turned up unexpectedly and WHO DOES THAT except a MONSTER or (2) make a babbling excuse and immediately throw the VHS out the window. Things we would not do: let her watch it and make our relationship even weirder than it was. Other things we would not do: later appear at HER door unexpectedly (!!!!), ask her to lie to her husband slash our best friend, play a recording of NOT CAROLERS (this CD = obviously accompanied), and then confess our unwanted and unsolicited love. Garbage friend. Garbage story.
How Many POC in the Film: A few supporting characters – Chiwetel Ejiofor, Abdul Salis (Kris Marshall’s friend), Olivia Olson (Thomas Sangster’s love interest) and her mom, and Prime Minister Hugh Grant’s…secretary? chief of staff?? Some important lady who works at Downing Street. Also, a whole bunch of background people. This movie did an okay job, POC-wise.
Alternate Scenes: Every time we watch this movie, we hope that somehow this will be the time that the movie is different and Alan Rickman just gives Emma Thompson the goddamn necklace instead of ruining their life together. It’s so easy not to cheat on people, guys. Just, why.
Was the Poster Better or Worse than the Film: Worse. The poster says, “Merry Christmas! Here is my gift to you – the faces of 10 white famous people, coming to murder you tonight.” Whereas the movie, of course, is delightful.
Score: 9.5 out of 10 Christmas-is-all-around-us smooches. We would, however, like to qualify that it’s EXTREMELY HARD (as we’ve now seen many times, to our chagrin) to make a movie perfect, or even any good at all, that has this many characters and storylines. While there are certain things we might change, overall, we both deeply enjoy this movie and find it impressively put together.
Ranking: 2, out of the 56 movies we’ve seen so far.
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”