‘Love Actually’ is Full of Terrible Life Lessons

No wonder our generation is so messed up


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.


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  • The saving grace of Love Actually is 100% Huge Grant’s dance moves

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      #truth Kirstin

      • Amelia Diamond

        I would like to argue that point further and say it’s the woman in the fuchsia blouse who catches him and is sick of his g-d antics.

      • Louella Shumaker

        Chief Executive of Yahoo! – Marissa Meyer , is recommending people to start freelancing from home… Something that I have been doing for over 2 years now. My profit, for this year alone is $87.17k so far and all I needed was nothing more than my laptop and several hrs of free time each week at home working online job over internet company, despite that i have a full-time employment beside it. Great thing is that even newbies, can get $50/hr with no trouble and the earnings can go even higher over time… This is where i started.


    • l:ly


    • Even at the worst scenes, all of Love Actually is a saving grace, imo!

    • Marta Millere

      Apparently he hated filming this scene and was grumpy throughout the whole process because of it #funfact

  • Iva Quint

    Kiera Knightley’s husband in the movie isn’t a J. Crew model, he’s frickin’ Chiwetel Ejiofor!!!!

    • Andrea Raymer

      I only just put 2 and 2 together to figure that out.

    • Amelia Diamond

      WAIT. Ok first of all I know he isn’t a J.Crew model I just meant he looked like one but also HOW DID I NOT REALIZE HE WAS CHIWETEL EJIOFOR? He looks SO DIFFERENT. I AM A LITTLE BIT LIKE WHAT.

      • Iva Quint

        TRULY! So great. That case is low-key stacked.

      • It should also be noted that “To Me You Are Perfect Guy” is Rick from the Walking Dead.

  • Crazy Loop

    I must watch this film

  • Alarive

    Amelia- you are awesome. I feel like you perfectly encapsulated all of Keira Knightley’s ethos during her 20s. She seemed totally perfectly to us then in reality was totally imperfect. Clap clap.

    • Andrea Raymer

      Keira was actually only 18 when this movie came out!!

      • Amelia Diamond

        She was 18!?!?!? you guys are killing me with these Love Actually facts. I need more.

        • Quinn Halman

          Fact: I was not in it

      • Alarive

        SHUT UP. That’s even worse.

      • What?? That is an amazing fact of the day. Who needs work when you have the internet so full of knowledge! (jk work..)

  • J-Ro

    It IS the perfect movie… especially when one considers that the Best Supporting Role should go to all the TURTLENECKS it featured: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ericafutterman/the-definitive-ranking-of-all-of-love-actually-turtlenecks

    • Amelia Diamond


    • kellymcd

      I literally just finished watching this movie and I thought “wow, how did I NOT notice all the turtleneck mania going on here before?”

    • Jessica Peterson


  • if you see something, say something?! HYSTERICAL!!!!!

  • Pia Sophie

    “she is not a beatle.” ?

  • Anika Yael Natori

    Although I’ve seen this movie way too many times (and kind of love it), I totally agree with you that it is unrealistic. But it has a great cast and always gets me in the holiday spirit!

    PS. Thanks for remindnig me that Professor Snape is in this movie! Hilarious.

    Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

  • I love this film, warts and all. But the whole point of Christmas-themed movies is that they’re NOT realistic. We get enough realism in real life, especially at the holidays, when reality tends to be particularly sucky instead of particularly fabulous. Bring on the fantasy, I say!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Leah

    Can you review every movie, please?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Every movie ever? Sure!

  • BW

    Every year I watch this I think maybe she won’t answer the phone when tan Carl is shirtless in her bed.

  • lastbutnotleast

    Not to nitpick unnecessarily but just because they’re both so fabulous – it’s not Laura Linney, it’s Emma Thompson.

    • Amelia Diamond

      No no! Snape is married to Emma Thompson but it’s Laura Linney who takes ADVICE from Snape to hook up with “Tan Carl.” !

      • lastbutnotleast

        Oh I should have known! Sorry!

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    Just read these out loud for family cackling but now we’re all bored. Send more movie analyses!!

  • Yue

    Die Hard is still my go to Christmas movie and that is the hill that I will die on.