Christmas Rewind: Love Actually returns to theaters

Looking for a little bit of Christmas spirit? The classic Love Actually returns to theaters this weekend in honor of its 20-year anniversary.
Love Actually turns 20 this year and is returning to theaters to celebrate.
Love Actually turns 20 this year and is returning to theaters to celebrate. / Jun Sato/GettyImages

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re like me, you’re deep into the trappings of the season. That means decorations, special treats, holiday gatherings and classic season entertainment. This year, to celebrate its 20-year anniversary, Love Actually is returning to theaters this weekend.

The film was released in 2003, just in time for Christmas. It was a big year for holiday releases as Elf was released in early November of that year. This Christmas-themed comedy comes from writer/director Richard Curtis, who was the creative force behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, among others. In this anniversary year, below is some information about the film, where to find it and why it’s a seasonal classic.

What is Love Actually:

The film is a series of vignettes about different stories of people in love or looking for love during the Christmas season. We have a new bride (Keira Knightly) who learns her husband’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) best friend (Andrew Lincoln) is in love with her. We have stand ins (Martin Freeman and Joanna Page) who fall in love on the set of an adult film. We have a career-driven woman (Laura Linney) who can’t connect with her crush because she’s got to be there for her brother, and we have a lonely Brit (Kris Marshall) who heads to America to find love.

But the main focus is on five bigger stories. The first is a long-married couple (Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman) who have hit a rough patch. We have a single father (Liam Neeson) who is trying to get over his heartbreak while helping his stepson (Thomas Broadie-Sangster) connect with his crush. We also have an aging rocker (Bill Nighy) who is trying to re-capture his glory by re-recording his classic hit as a Christmas song.

But the two best stories involve Colin Firth and Hugh Grant falling in love. In one, Jamie (Firth) is a writer who catches his girlfriend cheating. He travels abroad to work and ends up connecting to his housekeeper (Lucia Moniz). In the other, the new Prime Minister (Grant) is single and finds himself drawn to one of his young aids (Martine McCutcheon).

Where you can find it:

For its anniversary, the film is actually in theaters again nationwide this weekend. Check your local listings! If you don’t want to venture out, or can’t find a screening near you, don’t lose hope! It’s actually currently streaming on Netflix as well.

Why Love Actually is a beloved Christmas classic:

I remember when I first saw the film. It moved me. It made me laugh. It drew me in. And it filled me with the Christmas spirit. Twenty years later, it still does. It’s a part of my annual Christmas traditions and many feel the same. If you’ve never seen it, this is a great year to give it a try.

I like the blend of comedy and drama as well as all the iconic moments in the film. I love the different storylines and the way it all comes together. It has an amazing and deep cast. It’s wonderful to see Thompson, Rickman, Nighy and others each year. But my favorite parts of the story have always been the plots with Firth and Grant. Grant, especially, has some incredible sequences.

This isn’t the most traditional Christmas film but if you’re looking for something warm and engaging this is well worth your time to check out.

Seen Love Actually? Do you love the film? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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