Yes it is November but yes I have got a post about Christmas…. but this is 2020 so anything goes, right?! 😂😂
Massive thanks to Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on the blog tour and to Parthian Books for my copy of How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics).
RARELY HAS THE POWER OF CINEMA BEEN FELT BY SO MANY, IN SUCH OPPOSING WAYS…
“Love Actually dulls the critical senses, making those susceptible to its hallucinogenic powers think they’ve seen a funny, warm-hearted, romantic film about the many complex manifestations of love. Colourful Narcotics. A perfect description of a bafflingly popular film.”
By any reasonable measurement, Love Actually is a bad movie. There are plenty of bad movies out there, but what gets under Gary Raymond’s skin here is that it seems to have tricked so many people into thinking it’s a good movie. In this hilarious, scene-by-scene analysis of the Christmas monolith that is Love Actually, Gary Raymond takes us through a suffocating quagmire of badly drawn characters, nonsensical plotlines, and open bigotry, to a climax of ill-conceived schmaltz.
How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) is the definitive case against a terrible movie. With a foreword by Lisa Smithstead.
What Did I Think?
I must admit, I’m not the biggest Love Actually fan. I just don’t get it. I’ve watched it once and couldn’t get the hype so I’ve never rewatched it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Richard Curtis’ films, loved Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill and Four Weddings – I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen each of these. And I love Hugh Grant… and I adore Christmas but there are so many more festive films that I’d sooner watch: Elf, Arthur Christmas, Die Hard (yes it is a Christmas film).
But this guy, I mean Gary Raymond really does not like this film! I suppose the title of the book gives that little nugget away. But as I read the blow by blow reasoning for Raymond’s dislike for this Curtis film, I could fully appreciate where the author was coming from. Raymond shows in his commentary how cluttered and frenetic Love Actually as a film is which is possibly where my lack of adoration comes from.
Despite Raymond’s animosity for this film, his critique I felt was justified. My memory of this film is flimsy but that is possibly due to the frantic nature of the story. Raymond highlights that and then deconstructs the lordotic nature that has been bestowed on Love Actually. He criticised the plot line, narrative and character interaction but not only with a slight on the movie but also with a critic’s hat donned. Yes he dislikes the film playing out before him but he provides us readers with a justified reasoning for his contempt!
If you are a fan of Love Actually, I’d probably suggest that you don’t read this book anytime soon. However for someone like me who is non-plussed, it’s an entertaining critique of what is viewed as one of the best Christmas films to watch. Reading Raymond’s logic, I kind of want to watch Love Actually to pick up on all the niggles and gripes he has with this film.
Who Is Gary Raymond?
Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor, and broadcaster. He is presenter of The Review Show for BBC Radio Wales and editor of Wales Arts Review. He is a regular writer on film, music, literature, and theatre, and can often be heard on BBC Radio 3 and 4 as an arts commentator and reviewer. His novels include For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015), The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018), and the upcoming Angels of Cairo (Parthian, 2021).