To be honest I have avoided watching this movie for two reasons. First, I’ve heard the title pop up in stand up routines and various t.v shows, so I know that it was some kind of a hit. These are the romance movies I often avoid, which I know makes no sense to many of you, but usually I find the most popular romance flicks to be incredibly cheesy, unrealistic and/or boring. I am an artist after all, so I am wired to go against the grain.
The second reason I kept skimming past it on my Netflix page, was because the description was something along the lines of people falling in love at Christmas, but good luck figuring out who’s sleeping with who. Big turn off for me, because though I’m not prudish, I don’t enjoy watching the drama of one infidelity after another unfold.
Fortunately I was surprised that the movie was nothing like I expected. In the opening scene Liam Neeson’s character, Daniel, is describing a scene where “love actually is around us all the time” so from the start I was intrigued. One thing to realize, is that there are 9, count ’em 9, relationship stories happening in this movie. Which could be overwhelming and confusing, but wasn’t. The stories intertwine at moments throughout the film and are all believable enough to prevent chaos and confusion.
There are plenty of silly and campy moments in there as well, which keeps things fun and entertaining, but I appreciated the moments of real life drama that entered in, such as Laura Linney’s character Sarah being placed in a position of caring for her ill sibling rather than throwing caution to the wind in her romantic life. There are also stories of possible infidelity, boy in love with an out of reach girl, and puppy love, as Daniel’s stepson Sam is trying to woo a girl at school.
I loved the ultimate message of this movie that all of the various relationships seemed to show. Love is not always about passionate Gone with the Wind moments (though those are in there too for you hard core romcom fans), but that sometimes love slips away and we have to move on. That sometimes we really do find love in the most unexpected places. And by golly if you think it’s love, you better go for it! Most of all, that love is not just a couple’s in love sort of thing, rather so much bigger. Love for friends, family, children, neighbors; about embracing the love that is around us that we often take for granted. So this movie is definitely worth watching to get your groovy love the world around you mojo on. And there are enough realistic couple’s moments in there to give me hope that some romance could be possible without being too schmaltzy. I find this to be an excellent Valentine’s Day watch if you are single and at home next Tuesday. (I admit I may watch it again with the pinot and cheeze curls I mentioned in my first post) In the very least, you’ll have a few good chuckles. 🙂