Love Actually is one of the greatest holiday movies of all time. A true classic.
There is just one hiccup. For a film so revered, savored and cherished in a seasonal genre that tends to promote strong morals and important takeaways, it offers absolutely terrible life advice.
The worst, actually.
So take mine instead.
Always Have a Cover Story Ready For “How We Met”
Dude from The Hobbit and his girlfriend meet as lighting stand-ins for the world’s fanciest porno (re-watch these scenes, note the decor, then ask yourself if you think the title of the movie is called Pornterest Broads or Dick-spiration 9).
According to those who consider themselves old school romantics, this is still a better scenario than meeting on Tinder. However! At least everyone on dating apps knows to come up with a fake backstory of how they met. Bilbo Baggins and his girlfriend, on the other hand, offer up a series of awkward “ums” when asked for their origin story at the school play. There’s no excuse to not come prepared.
Never Take Dating Advice From Professor Snape
Can it to anyone in the audience reminding me that he ends up being a “good guy” in Harry Potter. I know. But the man is more fickle than a cat who can’t decide whether or not he wants to come inside — sometimes he’s trying to kill Harry, sometimes he’s not! — and for that reason alone he should never be trusted, especially not with matters of the heart. You would think the wise Laura Linney would know better, but no: she listens to a man who is emotionally cheating on his wife with the secretary, whose advice is to explore interoffice sexual relations that are so obviously going to end in awkward water cooler encounters and lend themselves to a weird office vibe. Neither HR nor your therapist would approve.
If You’re Really Trying to Woo a Woman, Pick Her Up Before the Date
Jamie the author who uses a typewriter because he’s a hipster or something drives Aurelia home every night (mmhmm) and yet not once does he pick her up. Call me old fashioned, but that’s rude. I hate uncle Jamie, too.
If You See Something, Say Something: Never Leave Your Shit Unattended!
That Colin, “God of Sex,” aka the British Matthew Lillard, goes home with January Jones, Elisha Cuthbert and Ivana Miličević (later joined by NADIA from American Pie) is not so unreasonable. Accents can be very alluring, I get it.
The unreasonable part is that he leaves literally all of his belongings — remember that he comes straight off the plane from England and heads straight to an American watering hole — at the front of the bar upon walking in. He just enters, dumps his shit like he’s coming home from work, and never thinks about needing pants ever again.
Manage Expectations Surrounding Holiday Travel. Be Realistic!
Not only does the school play that brings every single character together take place on Christmas Eve (hello, terrible idea — traffic, people are already away, family members are visiting who definitely do not want to attend), it’s also on the same night that the kid from Game of Thrones’ love interest’s flight is booked back to America. What the hell was that girl’s agent/mom thinking? No way is she good enough to have some performance booked like, 7 hours later in America. She is not a Beatle. This was poor planning and unnecessarily stressful.
Never Give a Double Thumbs Up After You Profess Your Love to Someone
“To Me You Are Perfect Guy” actually may have had a chance had he not done this at the end of his confession. (1:40)
Never Let Keira Knightley Plan Your Wedding
But that’s my dream wedding! What are you talking about?!
No it isn’t. You just think it is because of Knightley’s feathered cardigan/hair situation, the fact that her groom is a J.Crew model and the other fact that Lynden David Hall sang “All You Need is Love” while trumpets blasted from pews. Perhaps that is your dream ceremony — but remember that the musical surprise wasn’t Knightley nor her J.Crew model husband’s doing.
The wedding itself boasted:
The “worst deejay in history” according to Laura Linney and the Thumbs Up guy.
A caterer so terrible that British Matthew Lillard likened her hors d’oeuvres to “a dead baby’s finger” and spat one out after consuming — this is the same man who later picks his nose then flicks it in a kitchen, so his standards should already be alarmingly low.
The wedding video turned out “blue and wibbly” and the videographer does not manage to get one shot of the bride in a wedding dress that isn’t bright turquoise. Did the bride and groom do any research on Yelp or Pinterest at all?!
But other than that, it’s a perfect movie!
Collage by Krista Anna Lewis. All Screen Grabs via Fan Pop.