Feeling a little stressed this past weekend, I decided to watch Love, Actually. Cursed with major recall of past movie reviews, I knew it had been swathed in praise for being both funny and heart-warming. Just what the doctor ordered.
Bring on the malpractice suit. It's not easy to waste talents like Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, and Alan Rickman. But this movie makes donkeys out of them all. The only one left standing on two legs when the hee-hawing stops is Bill Nighy, playing a burnt-out rock star trying to make a comeback. And he does it by being totally asinine from the git-go.
The biggest jackass of all, though, is Hugh Grant pretending to be a newly elected Prime Minister in love with his slightly plump secretary. It used to be said of Jack Lemmon that his acting consisted mostly of a patented collection of tics. At least Lemmon had a collection. Grant has only one tic: a prissy expression that says, "Terribly sorry, old chap, but I'm feeling dreadfully horny just now."
if you want to laugh at a British Prime Minister, allow me to recommend the immortal BBC series Yes, Prime Minister and its predecessor Yes, Minister. I wrote about them a while back (see Reprise). And if you want heart-warming, don't miss The Notebook. Among other things, it stars two veterans, Gena Rowlands and James Garner, who are gracious enough to allow themselves to be upstaged (upscreened?) by the two excellent young actors, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who portray their younger selves.