We’re 99.9 percent sure those two words just elicited a very strong reaction from you on sight. That is the power of Richard Curtis’ holiday rom-com.
Released in 2003 and starring a who’s who of British actors—Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kiera Knightley, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy—Love Actually became an instant classic for many. But for others, it’s become a stain on their favorite season.
For every fan that finds the airport montage swoonworthy, there’s another viewer that finds it schmaltzy. And while some see Grant’s prime minister charming, others think his pursuit of one of his staffers is kind of creepy. And don’t even get a hater started on the “To Me, You Are Perfect” sign unless you want to lose an hour or so of your day.
So, in honor of its 17th anniversary, we’re settling the debate once and for all: Is Love Actually actually a good movie? And, maybe more importantly, does it matter if it’s not?