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.


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