Written and directed by Richard Curtis and produced by Duncan Kenworthy (the team behind NOTTING HILL and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) this zingy Brit-com weaves a vivid crazy quilt of interlocking or unrelated vignettes all dealing with the subject of love over the Christmas holidays in London. The big name cast includes Hugh Grant as a prime minister who falls for a member of staff, Liam Neeson as a widower counseling his son in the ways of romance, Laura Linney as a shy woman working up the nerve to ask out a colleague, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman as a couple faced with infidelity, and Colin Firth as a writer who falls for his Portuguese maid. Additionally, a pair of porn film stand-ins bond on the set, an artist fantasises about his friend's wife; and perhaps funniest of all, an ageing rock star (Bill Nighy) tries to make his comeback with a Christmas novelty song. The likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson and Denise Richards turn up in cameos, helping make this film a throwback to those all-star, multi-plotted comedies of the 1960s and '70s, such as IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1963), NASHVILLE (1975), and CALIFORNIA SUITE (1978). With Curtis' comedic credentials and the star wattage of pros like Grant, Neeson and Thompson, LOVE, ACTUALLY is a laugh-packed affair, with more than a few tears to be shed along the way, and a startling amount of bawdy raunchiness.
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