[Editors’ note: there’s a trend among American publications to write lengthy essays about Love Actually. This is deeply confusing to the Brits we know, who seem unified in their hatred of the 2003 film. Stu Heritage of the Guardian’s London office here represents the British opinion. Americans Katie Rogers and Erin McCann will tell him why he’s wrong.]
The only time an American has ever kissed me on the lips was in the immediate aftermath of watching Love Actually a decade ago. I think it was because I was the only British person at hand and she thought we were all like that.
We are not all like that. [K&E: True. You’re not. The closest you’ll get to a British person being warm and cuddly is when they whisper under their breath about how bad your tea-making skills are rather than say it out loud.]
I will never, in all of my life, understand America’s obsession with Love Actually. It’s not a good film. It’s barely even a film. [K&E: Shut up. Yes it is. It’s got movie stars like Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman!] It’s a collection of half-formed stories revolving around a pointlessly broad theme. It’s diabetic Coffee And Cigarettes. It’s Valentine’s Day with unfortunate dentistry. Perhaps, and tell me if I’m wrong, Americans only like it because their attention spans aren’t all that fantastic. [K&E: Hey that’s… sorry, did you say something? CAT!]
If all British people were like the characters in Love Actually, Britain would have to be drowned in the sea. I’d volunteer to do the drowning. Hugh Grant’s prime minister isn’t charming [K&E: HE’S HUGH GRANT! Does charming mean something different to you?], he’s dangerously unprofessional [K&E: but a fabulous dancer]. Martine McCutcheon’s tea lady isn’t adorable, she’s a ruthless social climber. Liam Neeson is a weirdo who vicariously acts out his sexual fantasies through his infant son. Kris Marshall is effectively a sex tourist. Three weeks after the events of the film end, I guarantee that Lúcia Moniz cleaned out Colin Firth’s bank account and ran off back to Portugal. And Alan Rickman continued to cheat on Emma Thompson until she became a grief-fueled alcoholic. And Andrew Lincoln definitely kidnapped Keira Knightley and chopped her up into tiny pieces so that they’d never be apart. Of course he did. Look at him. [K&E: geez, Stu, lay off the Craigslist, eh?]
We are nothing like Love Actually characters. I really must impress that upon you as hard as I can. [K&E: one time, while the US office were watching the Olympics, our British sports editor recited Hugh Grant’s entire “England is a great country” speech quietly to himself, when he thought no one was listening. Game, set, match, Stu.]
Americans are all like the characters from Smokey And The Bandit, though, right? At least give me that. [K&E: fair point]
Advantage: love, but only in America, you heartless bastard.