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Love Actually Is Actually ‘Problematic’, Film Fans Find

by : Julia Banim on :
Love Actually Is Actually 'Problematic' Film Fans FindWorking Title/Universal Pictures/Alamy

Love Actually is one of the key movie staples of the festive season, warming viewers year after year with its appealing message of love being ‘everywhere’, despite often not being ‘particularly dignified or newsworthy’.

However, it’s also one of those that has admittedly aged a bit oddly in some respects, making it ripe for criticism through a modern lens.

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This Christmas, as has become tradition, viewers have once again been critiquing some of the more ‘problematic’ aspects of the film, parts which would no doubt be changed about a bit should there ever be a remake.

Love Actually (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Certain bits in particular have come under fire, with the constant comments about Natalie’s (Martine McCutcheon) weight feeling more than a little weird in an age of body positivity.

As one person tweeted:

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The multiple fat jokes/comments about weight in Love Actually really shows the toxic body-image culture of the early 2000s.

Others have taken issue with the famously creepy scene in which Mark (Andrew Lincoln) declares his undying love for Juliet (Keira Knightley), his best friend’s new wife, via a number of large signs, arguing that this depiction normalises stalking behaviours.

One Twitter user wrote that they were actually ‘shouting “run for your life! Get the f*ck out of there!”’ at Keira Knightley when she discovers Andrew Lincoln’s ‘secret stalker tapes’.

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Other storylines that have come under fire include the budding romance between Natalie and Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant), described by a number of viewers as being ‘a very clear abuse of power’.

People have had similar reactions to the love story between Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Sienna Guillory), described by one as being yet another plotline ‘where a powerful man leverages his position, under cover of English standoffishness, to seduce a woman in a junior position’.

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Body double character John (Martin Freeman), who falls for Judy (Joanna Page) while acting out a series of raunchy sex scenes, has also been slammed for showing ‘everyday homophobia’ on account of his comments about the-then single PM being ‘as gay as a picnic or married to his job’.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Hugh Grant, Love Actually