Whether you find it cheesy and boring or religiously watch it every Christmas Eve like I do, there's no denying the genius that is Love Actually. It’s been over ten years since the film was first released, which means I’ve watched it at least hundreds of times each Christmas season, and it never stops teaching me new lessons about love.
Here are the eight things Love Actually has taught me about relationships.
1. When you know, you just know
If your maid/cleaning lady/housekeeper happens to be a cute Portuguese lady who getting attacked by eels by jumping in the water to rescue your book pages, there’s a pretty good chance she's into you. Maybe this is a specific case for Colin Firth's character, but of the billions of people in the world, your soul mate could be someone who doesn’t speak the same language, lives far away, or comes with many inconveniences. But when you know you know, same language or not.
As Jamie says in broken Portuguese that he learned in maybe two weeks, “I know I seems an insane person — because I hardly knows you — but sometimes things are so transparency, they don’t need evidential proof.”
2. Sometimes, friendship is the best kind of love
Remember the sweet scene when Billy Mack leaves Elton John’s Christmas Eve Party to be with his “fat manager” (his words not mine)?
Besides the distracting fact that the manager is wearing denim-on-denim, the scene is also confusing in what kind of love this is. We’re made to believe this is a romantic comedy, but when Billy awkwardly spits out, “I’ve gone and spent most of my adult life with a chubby employee. And as much as it grieves me to say it, it might be that the people I love is, in fact, you,” we learn that soulmates, and love, come in all shapes and sizes, and can be in the form of a friend, or a chubby employee — whatever floats your boat, Billy.
3. Love is putting their needs before your own
When we find out that Sarah has been pining over Karl for years, we think this storyline will be about their romance and *obvious* sexual chemistry. But, in the moment that Sarah and Karl might finally get together after the Office Christmas party, we find out that Sarah must leave Karl in order to care for her ill brother. Why is she leaving!? We scream at our television screens. What about Hot Karl’s abs?? But in a later scene that shows Sarah and her brother embracing over a simple Christmas gift, we learn that Sarah knows her brother needs love more than she does, and her love for her sibling overpowers whatever she wants for herself (like Sexy Karl).
4. Romance is a little awkward
One of the most genius ploys of the film is that it does not depict love to be like a fairy-tale storybook. As beautiful, sweet, and sob-worthy as these love stories are, they are also awkward. Sarah’s funny dance on the stairwell while Karl waits for her in the doorway, Hugh Grant getting caught dancing and Jack and Judy’s adorkable relationship. Love is sometimes awkward, because of how much it forces us to care and sometimes its' even more romantic than smooth moves.
5. You never know where or how you'll find 'the one'
You know that saying that the right person comes along as soon as you stop looking? There is some truth in that - David and Natalie find each other and bond as they both start new jobs.
Point is, love is actually all around, and you never know when or where you might fall into it.
6. Love actually IS all around
In the end, you can see love in all shapes and sizes everywhere.
But just in case you can't, may I suggest you watch the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport?
Emma is just your average book loving, tea drinking, story writing, narcissistic millennial on an eternal quest for the perfect t-shirt. Ever since she picked up her first copy of Dolly when she was twelve, she always knew she wanted to work in magazines. She would describe herself as a bit of a hopeless romantic with an obsession for true crime and horror and a love for red wine, whiskey or a stiff gin and tonic. When she's not binge watching Netflix or buying things she can't afford online, she spends her weekends trawling through bookstores and eating her way through Brisbane.