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"LOVE ACTUALLY"
(2003) (Hugh Grant, Colin Firth) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Heavy Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Moderate Moderate *None


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: Various couples and others deal with love and relationships in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
PLOT:
It's several weeks before Christmas in Britain and veteran rocker Billy Mack (BILL NIGHY), with aid of his longtime manager, Joe (GREGOR FISHER), has rerecorded a Christmas version of his smash hit single. As it starts to play on the radio, the new Prime Minister (HUGH GRANT) takes office and immediately finds himself smitten with one of his staff workers, Natalie (MARTINE McCUTCHEON), when not standing up to the visiting President of the U.S. (BILLY BOB THORNTON).

There's a new woman in Karen's (EMMA THOMPSON) life, but she isn't pleased about a young and attractive worker, Mia (HEIKE MAKATSCH), who is coming on to her husband, Harry (ALAN RICKMAN). When he's not enjoying that newfound attention and trying to figure out whether he should act upon it, he tells Sarah (LAURA LINNEY) that she should act on her longtime crush of coworker Karl (RODRIGO SANTORO).

Speaking of crushes, it seems that Mark (ANDREW LINCOLN) has one on Juliet (KIERA KNIGHTLEY). The only catch is that she's the new bride of his best friend, Peter (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR). While movie stand-ins John (MARTIN FREEMAN) and Judy (JOANNA PAGE) end up falling for each other while rehearsing a graphic sex scene, young Sam (THOMAS SANGSTER) tells his recently widowed stepfather, Daniel (LIAM NEESON), that he's in love with Joanna (OLIVIA OLSON), the most popular girl in school.

After discovering his girlfriend cheating on him with his brother, writer Jamie (COLIN FIRTH) moves out and finds himself falling for his new Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia (LUCIA MONIZ), despite neither understanding the other. And young Colin (KRIS MARSHALL) has decided to head off to America where he hopes his looks, personality and British accent will help him bed many American women.

As the days count down toward Christmas, the various characters prepare for the holiday as well as love and the various relationships in their lives.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the large cast or romantic comedies, it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality, nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILL NIGHY plays a veteran and forthright rocker and ex-heroin addict who's recorded a new Christmas version of his hit single that he can't stand. He uses strong profanity and drinks.
  • GREGOR FISHER plays his manager who drinks with him.
  • COLIN FIRTH plays a writer who discovers his girlfriend cheating on him with his brother. He then moves out and ends up falling for his Portuguese housekeeper despite neither of them understanding the other.
  • LUCIA MONIZ plays that housekeeper who similarly falls for him.
  • LIAM NEESON plays a man who's just lost his wife and must help his stepson get through that, but more importantly the first love of his life. He uses strong profanity.
  • THOMAS SANGSTER plays his stepson who's frustrated by being in love with the most popular girl in school who he thinks doesn't even know he exists. He uses some profanity.
  • KRIS MARSHALL plays a young man who travels to America under the belief that his looks, personality and accent will allow him to sleep with many women (it appears he's correct).
  • MARTIN FREEMAN and JOANNA PAGE play two stand-ins for a sex or porno scene who simulate graphic sex scenes during rehearsals and then end up falling for each other.
  • ANDREW LINCOLN plays a young man who's in love with is best friend's new bride.
  • KIERA KNIGHTLEY plays that new bride who tries to figure out how to respond to his obvious love for her.
  • HUGH GRANT plays the new and somewhat unorthodox Prime Minister who stands up to the President of the U.S., uses some strong profanity and finds himself falling for one of his workers.
  • MARTINE McCUTCHEON plays that worker who similarly falls for him and uses some strong profanity.
  • LAURA LINNEY plays a woman who's been infatuated with Karl, her coworker, for years and eventually prepares to bed him. Repeated calls from her institutionalized brother, however, interrupt her plans.
  • RODRIGO SANTORO plays Sarah's coworker who briefly fools around with her.
  • ALAN RICKMAN plays a married manager who finds himself drawn to his flirtatious worker, Mia, who keeps putting the moves on him.
  • EMMA THOMPSON plays his wife who becomes suspicious of him and Mia.
  • HEIKE MAKATSCH plays Harry's flirtatious worker who repeatedly comes on to him.
  • BILLY BOB THORNTON plays the boorish President of the U.S. who comes on to Natalie despite being married.
  • OLIVIA OLSON plays the young singer who's the object of Sam's affection.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated romantic comedy. Profanity consists of at least 12 "f' words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue is present, a pair of actors (male and female) are seen rehearsing a love or porno scene several times (with nudity and simulated movement of intercourse and oral sex), another couple prepares to have sex (with making out and partial disrobing) but are interrupted, and group sex (one guy and several women) is implied.

    Some artwork shows nudity, some women are seen in scanty attire, a nude man holds a guitar in front of his crotch, and a young woman sexually comes on to her married boss. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some tense family material (death of an unseen parent, a strained marriage, etc.) also occurs. Some imitative behavior is present, while some characters drink and some drug references are made.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    Some flashing lights are briefly seen late in the film (for those concerned with such matters).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a wedding reception.
  • Harry tells Sarah to invite a co-worker out for drinks.
  • We hear that Billy is an ex-heroin addict.
  • Daniel is worried about his stepson being locked in his room and states that he could be injecting heroin into his eyeballs as far as he knows.
  • Billy jokes and tells a person not to buy drugs, but instead to become a rock star since they'll then give them to you for free.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • We see liquor given as Christmas presents.
  • People have drinks at a party, including Karen and Sarah.
  • Harry says that the "family thing" excuse translates to being hung over.
  • Colin orders a Budweiser in a bar. We then see that he and three young women he's met are drinking.
  • A person comments that they could get drunk with another person.
  • People have drinks.
  • People have drinks at a party.
  • Billy carries a bottle of liquor and Joe has some booze in front of him. Billy then says, "Let's get pissed" (drunk).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jamie returns home to find his brother there. We then hear Jamie's girlfriend call out to the brother, "Come here, big boy," adding that she's naked and wants him at least twice before Jamie comes home.
  • Colin says that English girls are stuck up.
  • Daniel tells Sam that no one likes sissies.
  • Natalie says her former boyfriend said she was fat (she's not).
  • The Prime Minister jokingly says that in his position he could have Natalie's mean former boyfriend murdered.
  • Hearing that Sam is in love with the most popular girl in school, Daniel tells him, "Basically, you're f*cked."
  • Mia repeatedly comes on to Harry (offering herself sexually to him) despite knowing he's married. He then finds himself tempted by her and even buys her a better Christmas gift than he does for his wife.
  • Despite being married, the President tries to fool around with Natalie.
  • A woman snidely remarks that Natalie has a big "ass" and thighs.
  • A guy comments that another is "as gay as a maypole" after spending ten minutes with Elton John (said for laughs).
  • Natalie's father refers to her as being "plumpy."
  • A father refers to his daughter as "Miss Dunkin Donut 2003."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Sarah's institutionalized brother nearly strikes her.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck-up," "F*cking miserable," "Basically, you're f*cked," "F*ck all," "F*cking love of my life," "Where the f*ck is my f*cking coat?" "This is sh*t," "Solid gold sh*t," "Totally sh*t time," "Let's go get the sh*t kicked out of us for love," "C*ck-up," "Loser," "Bugger off," "What the hell are you doing here?" "I think it's crap," "You're an ugly asshole," "I'm Colin, god of sex," "Bloody," "Hand up my ass," "Balls," "Festering turd of a record," "Bloke," "Babes," "Total bollocks," "You saucy minx," "Shut up," "Pretty little S.O.B.," "Total spaz," "Idiot," "Like hell it is," "Hell no," "Not that crap again," "You're as gay as a maypole," "Chicks," "Don't be a moron," "Let's get pissed" (drunk), "Don't be such an ass" and "You skinny moron."
  • We see a tattoo on the small of a woman's back.
  • Goofing around during an interview where he says he'll perform naked if his new song does well, Billy says he'll show a little preview and does a playful (and clothed) pelvic thrust in front of an older man's face.
  • Juliet wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Sam runs through security at an airport to tell the love of his life, Joanna, how he feels about her.
  • We see footage of Billy performing nude on TV, with just a guitar covering his crotch.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has lyrics about "waiting for you to turn me on" (like a light bulb).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 12 "f" words (some in subtitles), 7 "s" words, 5 slang terms for sex ("shag," "screw" and "laid"), 4 using male genitals ("c*ck-up," "knob" and "pr*ck"), 1 for breasts ("pipes"), 5 asses (1 used with "hole"), 4 craps, 4 buggers, 4 hells, 1 bollocks, 1 damn, 7 uses of "Oh God," 4 of "Oh my God," 2 each of "Christ," "For God's sakes" and "Oh Jesus" and 1 use of "God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see quite a bit of upper back thigh of a woman with Jamie.
  • We see John standing behind a bent-over Judy, holding her hips and thrusting behind her. Both are clothed and rehearsing for a film (neither is aroused by this and matter-of-factly talk about nonsexual things).
  • Peter and Mark talk about prostitutes at Peter's bachelor party and a comment is made about the prostitutes turning out to be men.
  • Jamie returns home to find his brother there. We then hear Jamie's girlfriend call out to the brother, "Come here, big boy," adding that she's naked and wants him at least twice before Jamie comes home.
  • Colin says, "I'm Colin, god of sex."
  • We return to the scene where John and Judy are rehearsing. The filmmaker wants her to remove her top so that they can see her nipples. She then complies (without hesitation and we see her bare breasts) and again bends over with John behind her. The director then asks John to put his hands on Judy's breasts and then caress them (he does, all while simulating thrusting behind her, again with nonsexual small talk between the two).
  • Harry tells Sarah to invite a co-worker out for drinks. He then tells her to comment on lots of sex and babies.
  • When asked about the "best shag" he ever had, Billy says it was Britney Spears. After a pause, he says he was just kidding and then adds, "She was rubbish."
  • The Prime Minister jokingly asks, "Who do you have to screw around here to get a cup of tea?" just as Natalie walks in and catches his eye.
  • We see John and Judy rehearsing more sex scenes, this time with her on top (seen from the side). We see her bare breasts, the side of her bare butt and related (simulated) movement (as they continue their nonsexual small talk while going through the motions).
  • Harry makes some sort of comment about breasts un-fondled (or something like that).
  • Karen tells Daniel that no one's going to "shag you if you cry all the time."
  • Billy draws captions on a picture of a boy band and writes, "I've got little pr*cks."
  • We see some artwork that shows men's bare butts, while another piece shows little Santa hats covering a woman's nipples.
  • Mia, who works under Harry, talks of "dark corners for dark deeds" and then suggestively spreads her legs (clothed) in her office chair and in the direction of Harry.
  • The President asks, "Did you see those pipes?" (referring to Natalie's clothed breasts). Later, The Prime Minister walks in on the President kissing Natalie who tells her that he's hoping to see more of her.
  • A comment is made about choosing between a transvestite and dominatrix doll.
  • We see Aurelia in her bra and panties as she strips down to jump into a lake to rescue some of Jamie's papers that have blown into it.
  • Aurelia kisses Jamie.
  • We see a music video featuring Billy and some women dressed in short and cleavage-revealing Christmas dresses. One such woman suggestively licks her lips and another spreads her legs (nothing explicit is seen).
  • Daniel makes a comment about "At least get laid once."
  • A large piece of artwork shows hands over some bare breasts, while we see the one of the men's bare butts again.
  • Mia tells Harry that "it's all for you" (meaning herself and/or body) while dancing with him.
  • Goofing around during an interview where he says he'll perform naked if his new song does well, Billy says he'll show a little preview and does a playful (and clothed) pelvic thrust in front of an older man's face.
  • A song has lyrics about "waiting for you to turn me on" (like a light bulb).
  • Sarah passionately makes out with Karl. She then tells him to come upstairs to her bedroom after waiting ten seconds. He does and they do more passionate kissing and some disrobing (he's shirtless and she's in her slip). She gets on top of him, lowers her slip (we see her bra) and then we see some partial views of the side of her bare breasts (while Karl is in just his underwear), but a phone call interrupts them.
  • We see Karen in her slip.
  • We see Mia in her panties and bra (that shows cleavage).
  • Mia suggestively tells Harry "When it comes to me, you can have anything."
  • Colin tells his friend that his backpack (for going to America) is full of condoms.
  • We see John and Jill doing more porno rehearsing, this time simulating fellatio. Her head is at his crotch and blocks a view of it (he otherwise appears fully nude). We then see her legs around his head in another shot.
  • Colin says (about heading to America) that he's on the "shag highway heading west."
  • Colin says (about himself) that he's got a big "knob" (penis).
  • Several women in America tell Colin (who's said he has no place to stay) to come back and sleep at their place. They then playfully tell him they only have one bed for all of them, that they'll have to share, that it will be hot and sweaty and that they can't afford pajamas. We later see a silhouetted shot of them disrobing (seen in a window from a distance) and then disappearing from our view.
  • We see Mia in her panties and some lingerie that shows cleavage.
  • Daniel jokingly tells Sam that if he (Daniel) ever ran into Claudia Schiffer, they'd have sex in every room, including the boy's and that he'd have to leave.
  • John and Judy kiss for real (rather than rehearsing).
  • We see a photo that shows a bare breast.
  • A statue shows a bare breast.
  • The Prime Minister and Natalie passionately kiss.
  • Karen asks Harry about his gift to Mia and wonders if it's just a necklace or a necklace with sex.
  • We see footage of Billy performing nude on TV, with just a guitar covering his crotch.
  • Jamie and Aurelia do some passionate kissing.
  • SMOKING
  • We see a photo of a singer holding a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see Daniel addressing the gathering at his wife's funeral, where we also see young Sam (who's just lost his mother -- Daniel is his step-father).
  • We hear that Sarah doesn't have any parents and must care for her institutionalized and needy brother.
  • Karen becomes suspicious of Harry and Mia, telling him, "Be careful there." Later, she finds evidence she believes might indicate an affair and is quite upset about that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Love in its many shapes and forms.
  • Losing a parent.
  • Being tempted by others, and those who tempt people who are married or otherwise taken.
  • Some viewers still sensitive to the 9-11 attacks might not like that subject matter being included in some voice over narration from the Prime Minister where he says that the last calls from people in the Twin Towers were probably only about love.
  • Interracial relationships (Juliette is white and Peter is black).
  • Daniel tells Sam that no one likes sissies.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None, but Sarah's institutionalized brother nearly strikes her.



  • Reviewed October 23, 2003 / Posted November 7, 2003

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