Love Actually Movie Review (2024)

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

  • Positive Messages


    Love is all around. Taking chances might be scary, but living with regret can be worse. Illustrates the importance of resilience and trusting in yourself. It's never too late to try something new in life.

  • Positive Role Models


    Karen is resilient and sometimes puts on a strong facade to help others. Daniel inspires his son to take a risk and supports him with kind advice. Billy Mack shows that artists can reinvent themselves at any age. A whole town bands together when Jamie wants to confess his feelings for Aurelia. But Mark's inappropriate/selfish decision to confess his love for his best friend's wife is portrayed as romantic.

  • Diverse Representations

    very little

    Although the cast is predominantly White, it's gender balanced and has age diversity. Billy Mack and Sam show that artists can invent (and reinvent) themselves at any age. Peter is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who's of Nigerian descent, and Karl is played by Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro. But aspects of the film fail to be inclusive: Natalie's story arc is fatphobic, Michael (who has a mental illness) is treated as a burden to his non-disabled sister Sarah, and Mark's inappropriate confession of love to his best friend's wife is lightly treated as a romantic gesture.

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  • Violence & Scariness

    very little

    Some tense moments, like a man in a hospital trying to hit his sister. Potential romantic coercion at the workplace, with a romantic relationship taking place between the prime minister and a junior staffer on his team. Sad scenes include a funeral for the wife of one of the main characters.

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  • Sex, Romance & Nudity

    a lot

    Two characters simulate sex while being filmed (they're actors) -- woman's bare bottom and breasts are visible. A woman takes off her clothes and is seen in her underwear. A photograph of a man's naked butt is displayed in a gallery. Many moments of romance/relationships: Couples kiss, have crushes and emotional affairs, etc.

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  • Language

    a lot

    A couple of uses of "f--k," "f--king," plus several uses of "s--t," "bugger," "wanker," "arse," "bloody," and "pissed."

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  • Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

    a little

    Characters smoke and drink socially. A party guest appears tipsy.

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  • Parents Need to Know

    Parents need to know that Love Actually is a British romantic comedy set during Christmas. Directed by Richard Curtis and starring a large ensemble cast, including Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and other heavy-hitters, the movie has positive messages about love, taking chances, and the importance of resilience and trusting in yourself. Tense moments include a disabled man trying to hit his sister, and there's a sad funeral for the wife of one of the main characters. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "pissed." There are many romantic situations -- naked rear ends and breasts are visible. Characters smoke and drink socially. The cast is gender balanced but mostly White, and there's fatphobia and ableism. But the movie also shows that artists can invent (and reinvent) themselves at any age, young or old. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.

What's the Story?

The interwoven stories of LOVE ACTUALLY all take place in the weeks before Christmas. They include a prime minister (Hugh Grant) who's drawn to the outspoken staffer who delivers his tea, an 11-year-old (Thomas Sangster) who wants to attract the attention of the coolest girl in school, a man (Andrew Lincoln) in love with his best friend's (Chiwetel Ejiofor) new bride (Keira Knightley), a waiter (Kris Marshall) who's sure that all his dreams of romance will come true if he goes to America, a married man (Alan Rickman) who wants to cheat on his wife (Emma Thompson), a rock star (Bill Nighy) angling for a comeback with a cheesy Christmas single, a heartbroken writer (Colin Firth) who can't stop thinking about the woman (Lúcia Moniz) who cleans his house -- even though they don't understand each other's languages -- and a couple (Martin Freeman and Joanna Page) who meet at work as movie stand-ins assigned to increasingly (and hilariously) more intimate poses.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

  • Families can talk about how the characters in Love Actually handle their feelings of loss, longing, and fear. Which characters stuck with you the most?

  • What types of risks and chances do the characters take? Do they pay off? In your experience, does taking risks pay off?

  • The prime minister uses his power to change someone's position based on his feelings. Should world leaders be able to do this?

  • How has the film aged since it came out in 2003? What are some grand gestures that feel particularly dated? What's the difference between a gesture that's genuinely romantic, and one that's inappropriate?

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 7, 2003
  • On DVD or streaming: April 27, 2004
  • Cast: Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson
  • Director: Richard Curtis
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Genre: Romance
  • Run time: 135 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexuality, nudity and language
  • Last updated: February 12, 2024

Inclusion information powered by Love Actually Movie Review (1)

Love Actually Movie Review (2024)


Is movie Love Actually a good movie? ›

In the end, I feel that Love Actually is for the most part a thoughtful and entertaining look at relationships, which does not shy away from taking the bad with the good.

What's the point of Love Actually? ›

The overriding message is that the holidays are better when you spend them with the people who care about you and that's good enough for us. Some of the film's most powerful storylines involve platonic love – including Billy Mack and his manager, Daniel and his son and Sarah and her ill brother.

What is the inappropriate scene in Love Actually? ›

John and Judy perform several sex scenes, simulating sex and oral sex. They are both naked and John is told to massage Judy's breasts. Aurelia strips off to her undies to jump into the water. There is a large picture of a woman holding her own breasts.

What happened to Sam's real dad in Love Actually? ›

(Sam's real father's fate is never mentioned, he could be Tony Blair for all we know). The two negotiate their grief together as Sam is in love with a 10-year-old chanteuse named — heavy sigh — Joanna. Sam learns the drums so he can play in her Christmas band.

Does Love Actually make you cry? ›

Love Actually (2003)

Although the movie focuses on many different relationships there is one storyline in particular that leaves fans in tears even now and that relationship is between Emma Thompson who plays Karen and her husband, played by Alan Rickman.

How old was Hugh Grant in Love Actually? ›

When Love Actually was released in 2003, Hugh Grant was 43 years old. Since Love Actually, Hugh Grant has continued to have a successful career with many roles in films such as Paddington 2 and The Undoing. He has also become a father to five children and got married for the first time in 2018.

Why do people not like the movie Love Actually? ›

Firstly, there's the lack of diversity, which Curtis admitted this week makes him “uncomfortable”. Then there's the fact that all of the relationships are heterosexual (a same-sex storyline, with Frances De La Tour and Anne Reid, was cut).

What is the most iconic scene in the Love Actually? ›

Love Actually features a number of memorable moments, but perhaps the most iconic scene from the film involves Mark (Andrew Lincoln) turning up at Juliet's (Keira Knightley) house and professing his love for her with a series of cue cards.

Does love really worth it? ›

It depends. If you love the right person, who reciprocates your love and energy, then it's totally worth it. But if you're with the wrong person, I'd advice you to cut off the ties. Also, think twice before you get into a relationship, because you have lots of things to do in life.

What scene was cut from Love Actually? ›

Love Actually originally had two storylines that were cut, including a scene in Kenya and a same-sex romance. The African storyline in Love Actually portrayed a simplistic view of Africa and perpetuated stereotypes about hardship, which could have been avoided by showing diversity within the UK.

Did he actually cheat in Love Actually? ›

Yep, Alan Rickman's character definitely had an affair

In December 2015, Love Actually scriptwriter Emma Freud answered fan questions on X (formerly Twitter), and it took our heartbreak to the next level. "DEFINITELY had an affair. I begged [director Curtis] just to make it a flirtation, but no.

Who is the hot guy in Love Actually? ›

But most vitally, 20 years on, and still we can't believe that Sarah, played by Laura Linney, didn't get her happily ever after with devilishly handsome Karl, portrayed by Rodrigo Santoro.

Who is Karen to Daniel in Love Actually? ›

Daniel (Liam Neeson), Karen's close friend, mourns the recent death of his wife, Joanna, as he tries to care for his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster).

How old was Sam in Love Actually in real life? ›

Every a year a tweet goes viral with people only just finding out how young Keira Knightley was in Love Actually. At just 18 years old, she was only five years older than Thomas Brodie-Sangster (13) who plays schoolboy Sam in the film.

Where was Love Actually filmed? ›

Love Actually was filmed in London, across real houses, shops and landmarks. Meanwhile, Jamie (Colin Firth)'s secluded writing retreat in France was filmed on location across the Channel. That said, Colin (Kris Marshall) 's Wisconsin scenes were actually filmed on sets in the UK.

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