Love, Actually (2003)
THE GIST: An assortment of once-burned Brits (and a few imported Americans) – including a privately pining prime minister (Hugh Grant!) and his sweet-hearted secretary, a widower (Liam Neeson) and his lonely loner of a stepson, a self-appointed local sex god and his American wet dreams, an aging rocker (Bill Nighy) and his agent BFF, Colin Firth and his language-challenged crush, a selfless workaholic (Laura Linney) and nerd-sexy office stud (Rodrigo Santoro), and, hold onto your broomsticks, Trelawney and Snape (!!) – show us that Christmas ’tis the season for lovin’ – of all kinds. Think Valentine’s Day with UK slang and sleigh bells. And WAY better writing/acting.
NAUGHTY OR NICE?: It’s got a sweet seasonal message, but there are some definite not-suitable-for-Santa-shipper moments. Case in point: the entire sidestory about sex scene standins who may or may not be made for each other.
WHY IT GETS US IN THE SPIRIT: This bittersweet flick reminds us that, despite what the big box stores tell us, Christmas really is about spending times with the ones you, well, you know.
MAGIC MOMENT: Okay so it has nothing to do with December 25th – but you can’t help but keel over when Hugh Grant randomly lip synches for his life to the Pointer Sisters’ “Jump for My Love.”
SANTA SIGHTING!: No Mr. Claus here. But you do get to see some super-toned semi-naked chaps rockin’ his hats. And the first lobster! (Watch and giggle incessantly.)
PERFECT PRESENT FOR: The Bridget Jones in your life. Or rather, any 20-something girly girl who likes to party with Ben, Jerry, Hugh and Colin too.