Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Love, Actually

Hi guys, hi guys, hi guys! Guess what? The election is over and I can stop being in Serious Jess Mode and I can start being in Seriously Christmasy Jess Mode! Are you so happy!? I am so happy. I mean, I would not be half as ecstatic right now if my president had not been re-elected, but he was! And I would not be half as ecstatic as I am right now if my wonderful, superior state did not approve Referendum 74, but we did, so. Here I am, relieved and excited and proud and merry. Let’s roll out the Christmas posts! I will not apologize for the amount of holiday joy you will be gettin’ from this column for the rest of the year.

Let me tell you guys, something. I love you. I really do love you. Thought I should tell you now because, well, at Christmas you tell the truth.

EINTKILF Love, Actually

1. Love actually is all around.
Okay, so the movie starts out with the sweet, sweet sound of my man Hugh Grant‘s voice speaking a real touching monologue about the state of the world being beautiful, no matter what the state of the world and then he cites 9/11, even though he is British because other countries care about America even though we don’t really care about other countries. Anyway, he just basically says that he really likes hanging out in airports watching people say goodbye and hello to each other because it reminds him that love actually is all around, even if he is full of it because the Prime Minister cannot just kick it in an airport watching people. And if he can, the Secret Service in Britain should step their game up.

This sets the tone for the rest of the movie because then people find love all around: in a foreign country even though they don’t speak the same language; while filming graphic love scenes for a movie neither of them star in; in the Oval Office (I mean, the Oval Office in Britain, what’s that called?); at your best friend’s wedding, etc. etc. (HA! BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING. God, I love Julia Roberts.)

2. Swearing is adorable.
Then we start to meet all the characters so that we can quickly become emotionally involved in their love lives and wish they were our own. (I mean, that is what I do when I watch a movie, or read a book or watch a television show or even just see a good looking person in real life, but then again, I stopped progressing emotionally at 17.) We meet David (the aforementioned hottie hottie with a naughty body Grant) as he is meeting his new staff, for he was just elected Prime Min. He meets Natalie, who is super gorgeous and has an almost Yeardley Smith-like voice and a sizable ass. (She reminds me of my friend Mandi, who writes for HelloGiggles sometimes.) Upon meeting the Prime Minister, Natalie starts accidentally swearing a bunch because she is nervous and Hugh (I mean David) laughs and basically falls in love with her on the spot. SO MEN, let’s talk. Do you know how much I swear? Like a Scorsese character. Now that you know it is quite the endearing trait, all the eligible British bachelors may feel free to line up outside of my door.

3. There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus.

4. Titanic cures all ails.
Well obviously (or not obviously if you have never met me), my favorite part in this movie is when Daniel (Liam Neeson, BAMF) and his stepson Sam (the cutest kid ever, Thomas Sangster) are sitting on the couch, lovesick in Sam’s honor because he has totally fallen in love with a girl who “doesn’t even know his name, and even if she did, she’d despise [him]” because “she’s the coolest girl in school and everyone worships her because she’s heaven.” What does Daniel, the smartest stepdad in the history of stepdads do?
“We need Kate, and we need Leo, and we need them now.”

And then they play “King of the World.” Honestly, this is the most perfect scene in cinematic history. I mean, who doesn’t put on Titanic when they are sad?


5. Love knows no barriers.
Jamie (Colin Firth, cutest bumblebee alive) goes off on a little vacay, chillin’ on the big yacht to get away from his cheater girlfriend (WITH HIS BROTHER, good god, have they never heard of loyalty?) and for whatever reason has a housekeeper. Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz) is Portuguese and gorgeous and sassy. (Like me! Just kidding, I’m not Portuguese , but people think I am sometimes.) Jamie and Aurelia do not understand each other at all, yet they manage to fall in love and say the most romantic things to each other without even realizing it! How quaint!

Jamie: It’s my favorite time of day, driving you.
Aurelia: It’s the saddest part of my day, leaving you.

Then they separately without telling each other try to learn each other’s language and Jamie ends up proposing to Aurelia while she’s working (wtf?) in really, really broken Portuguese (which is precious.) Though, I feel like I should say I think they get engaged like REALLY way too soon, and I already made a YOLO joke in this post, so I’m just going to say I mean it. Don’t get married too fast because you will get chlamydia and die.

No barriers, guys! Once, I started dating an innocent dude and found out that he was a Christian, but I thought that religion shouldn’t be a barrier so I…well, he’s not a Christian anymore, so actually this is a good example of brainwashing, not overcoming barriers.

Was that insensitive?

6. No, but really kids are the most romantic.
Almost all of the characters in this movie pale in comparison to how romantic Sam is. Let’s just explore his one-liners:

“But you know, the thing about romance is… people only get together right at the very end.”

“Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

“Worse than the total agony of being in love?”

Daniel: You know, Sammy, I’m sure she’s unique and extraordinary, but the general wisdom is that, in the end, there isn’t just one person for each of us.
Sam: There was for Kate and Leo. There was for you. There is for me. She’s “the one.”

He thinks Kate and Leo are the one for each other, he is clearly the best fictional child on fictional Earth.

Sweet little Sammy, even though he is clearly an introspective old soul, has not been jaded by the fact that love can be the worst thing that can happen to any living human being, so he doesn’t give up on the love of his life and has a lot of touching things to offer his widower stepdad.

I also learned that chicks love musicians. Especially drummers. I am so guilty of that dumb stereotype. I even like guys that sing in barbershop quartets, so I obviously have like fifty million issues.

7. Don’t cheat on Emma Thompson / your wife.
Because Emma Thompson / your wife is a wonderful woman who deserves ugly gold heart necklaces sometimes, not just scarves.
PS I am obsessed with them as they are with each other.

8. Say it with signs.
I have legit gotten into an argument three separate times in my life (my former RA, my ex-boyfriend, a coworker) about whether or not Mark (Andrew Lincoln) was out of line with his romantic gesture toward Juliet (Keira Knightley). Here’s the deal: the one thing I know that is definitely true in this world is that you absolutely cannot help how you feel about a person. If Mark had fallen in love with Juliet, it is not his fault. That does not make him a bad best friend, and clearly, he had tried to avoid the situation by being stand-offish and just kind of mean in general toward her. He blows her off all of the time and won’t even accept her banoffee pie, whatever the hell that is. So then, when she pries and pries and finally finds out that Mark is in love with her, he had two options: he could either pretend it did not happen or he could face the truth and tell her what was up. He chooses to be honest (BECAUSE IT IS CHRISTMAS AND AT CHRISTMAS YOU TELL THE TRUTH) and he never makes a move or anything. Sure, maybe she shouldn’t have kissed him, but it was innocent and it was more of a thank you than anything and sometimes you need those things to happen to get your “enough moment.” Look, I’ve been there. We people are imperfect. Poor Mark. I just feel bad for him. What could he have done? Friend broken up with his BFF? Not an ideal situation, but I think he handles it very well.
Alright, that kiss looks a little-not-so-innocent in the blown up pic.

9. Your brother should always come first.
Sarah (Laura Linney) works in an office with Karl (Rodrigo Santoro is his name on IMDB, but I think he might have actually been played by the GREEK GOD Apollo) and has been in love with him for “two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, an hour and thirty minutes” of the “two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, what, two hours?” that she has worked at the office. At the holiday party, Karl is overtaken with the mood music (Kelly Clarkson, Norah Jones and Justin Timberlake, can you even blame him?) and asks Sarah to dance…and then drives her home…and then walks her to her door…and then totally macks on her and then, well, you know…one thing leads to another or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Sarah is jazzed that greek god Karl is finally in her cute little loft apartment and halfway through their makeout sesh, her mobile rings. Sarah’s brother has an unexplained mental imbalance and he calls Sarah consistently throughout the day and she always takes his phone calls and sometimes, when he is going through a really rough spell, she goes to visit him in the hospital where he lives. Karl tries to get Sarah to ignore the phone when it rings a second time, but, like a damn good sister, she goes and sits with her brother to try and calm his paranoia.

Full disclosure: I usually skip this scene because it gives me a serious lump in my throat like I am about to ugly cry for hours. Brother/sister relationships really get to me, but I’ll tell you what: there is not a single man in my life, even if he were really bronze and shiny or rich and famous, that could convince me to ignore my brother in need. Family first, y’all.

10. Other things: Laura Linney is the absolute most perfect person in the world, Billy Bob Thornton is the skeeziest ever, Emma Thompson is the best crier, I want to dance with Hugh Grant, Aurelia’s dad is a jerk, and what if Snape and Trelawney actually got married? It would have probably ended like the marriage in this movie.

“After all this time?” “Always. Your crystal ball didn’t tell you that?”

And Joni Mitchell also taught me how to feel.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734654147 Rachel Lam

    The scene in #8 – still my FAVOURITEST SCENE EVER in this movie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      SAMESIES. Tears, every time!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612006115 Jayme Glynn

      It would not be entirely inaccurate to call it the best scene in any movie, ever. Such feelings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542843625 Casey Hollimon Bowles

    This movie is part of my Christmas tradition! Love it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=757975275 Jillian Sexton

    This is probably my favourite post on the internet because 1. I love Hello Giggles and 2. I watch Love Actually at least once a month and 3. We clearly both have the emotional stability of a 19 year old who’s one bad breakup away from buying 17 cats and/or becoming a prostitute.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      Whoa, I said I was 17, which means you are more mature than I am. Congratulations! Also, sounds like we’re the same person. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1011854163 Kellyn Carole Denton

    This is probably one of my all time favorite movies, for serious. I love this post. YES.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=525208380 Monica Gallagher

    I think it really is Apollo. I mean, in the words of Will Smith: ” … DAMN.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1110211761 Jennifer Law

    Oh my goodness, I think this post might be my favourite thing on the whole of the internet. My heart breaks every time Andrew Lincoln walks out his house after Keira Knightley realises that he’s in love with her. Also, telling the truth at Christmas is a real thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      Breaks my heart too, even though I don’t even like that Dido song!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1076899380 Erin Iacavone

    Whenever Hugh Grant is having a bad day, he hangs out at the airport. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I watch Hugh Grant’s dance scene in this movie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=67600071 Lindsey Post Robinson

      My favorite too! His dancing is the best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=772751928 Romi Viola

    So much win, all over this. “Love, actually” is my ultimate Christmas movie. As an Argentine, I can only pronounce “Lobster” with the little girl accent. Plus, after this movie I made my boyfriend (of that time) dance with me “Turn me on” on the rooftop. Epic. And “Here with me”, by Dido. UGH! Great BSO for a girl on her teens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=550100585 Sarah Brunelle

    “Rodrigo Santoro is his name on IMDB, but I think he might have actually been played by the GREEK GOD Apollo” – OMG so true.

    My mom and I love this movie so much that we’ve been known to watch it, then turn on the commentary and watch the whole thing again. Then, sometimes we turn the commentary off and watch the movie again :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      Can I come over?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626405895 Maryse Colson

    This is one of my favorite movies of all times. My Boyfriend knows that.
    I’m in Montreal for 4 months to study, very far from home and from him (I’m Belgian). He came to visit and he proposed the same way that scene #8, but with words related to our own story. I cried from the beginning to the end : the last paper asked “will you marry me?”. I’ve never been so happy =D

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      So cute! That would work on me even if I didn’t want to marry the guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747674249 Susan Costa Galvin

    Did Snape and Trelawney actually divorce in this movie? I thought they worked it out at the end. But, I only watched it once, while sewing, so clearly I am out of my league here. And yes, I’m too tired to remember their real names.

    • http://makeitbrighter.blogspot.com jessica tholmer

      I think it is open for interpretation, but I always assumed. I’ve heard variations, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1049763424 Brisa Amador

    LOVED this post! and thank you for point #8 I still can’t forget someone called it ‘one of the creepiest moments on movies’ ugh! this is one of my favorites movies ever I love all about it and agree with you Emma Thompson is the BEST crier oh my god that scene, when she had the Joni Mitchel cd Oooooohh and then pretend that anything happen so the kids won’t noticed it, gets me everytime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1021023883 Jill Mayo

    I find myself saying “Just in cases” all the time as a result of this movie. This is the only Christmas movie I watch year-round. But no one mentioned Mr. Bean and his wrapping skills…lol. Or the fact that Collin is totally shaggable because of his accent

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519991114 Luciana Prat

    What about Billy Mack’s song: Christmas is all around? That song is soooo awesome!

    I absolutely love this movie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562213017 Suzanne Sims

    I love Alan Rickman! Banoffee pie is banana and toffee flavour, do you not have that in the States? :) The bit where Andrew Lincoln holds up the sign reading TO ME, YOU ARE PERFECT always makes me let out an loud involuntary sob. So romantic even though he knows nothing can happen…. waaaahhh! Going to have to watch this now! Good post x

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506585130 Colleen Sweeney

    This movie further cemented the love I have for Colin Firth. He just is so…gah! He has the most amazing posture for a man I have ever seen. I always seem to focus on his posture when I watch this movie. And Andrew Lincoln? Goodness, I love British men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503151710 Katy Littlejohn

    No love for Bill Nighy? Such growth! Such raw sexual magnetism! Such eloquence! Also I love his cursing tirade when he continuously gets the words to his song wrong. I’m not saying that EVERYTHING I know I learned from BN, but I did pick up some swanky British swear words.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001016783081 Jess Tholmer

      I know, I know, I am the worst! I love Bill Nighy and his character and the song, but I couldn’t think of a lesson besides something like celebrity Christmas albums are “festering turds,” but I really like celebrity Christmas albums sometimes. I love your comment, though!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=779303611 Jj Murrell

    uk doesn’t have a secret service the uk oval iffice is…well i dont know what it is but its not an oval office lol.

    anywho i totally love this movie but you missed 2 of the best scenes. bill nighy devlaring his love for his manager, so sweet.

    and of course sam at the airport, shoeing just how lax our airport security is just to find out that she does know his name. sooo cute <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1125129657 Susan Maddox Boesche

    I laughed, I cried, I watched it again. Love, Actually is my favorite! Great read, I loved all points. Yay for being forever thirty-something-teen years old!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506288786 Cristina Alonso

    oh my god, i feel like we should be best friends and discuss this movie endlessly over wine. i’m so happy we’re officially in holiday season because that means i can watch it at least once a week.

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!