Ever since it hit theaters in ’03, Love Actually has become one of those flicks you kinda can’t seem to get through the holiday season without watching (or at least putting on as background TV) at least once. It’s not required Christmas movie viewing, but, like an inbox overflowing with Nordstrom sales emails (what, just me?), it’s pretty much impossible to avoid. And that is just one of the reasons it has inspired so much loathing.
It is quite possibly, officially the Christmas movie we most enjoy ripping to shreds. Here, 12 things people love to hate about the ensemble cast rom-com.
1. The less you speak, the more likely you are to find love. That is, if you’re a woman in this movie.
In her classic Love Actually rant on Jezebel, Lindy West explains that its when “Colin Firth falls in ‘love’ with Aurelia at first sight,” the film establishes its “central moral lesson: The less a woman talks, the more lovable she is. None of the women in this movie fucking talk. All of the men in this movie ‘win’ a woman at the end. This goddamn movie.”
2. The more subservient a woman you are, the more likely you are to find love too!
3. The “To Me, You Are Perfect” guy is a creep.
4. Not to mention “that creepy, creepy wedding video.”
“No. Just…no,” write BuzzFeed staffers.
5. Natalie is NOT “the chubby girl.”
As Carey Purcell writes for Mic, “So many people in the film comment on her weight, including one of her colleagues who refers to her dismissively as ‘the chubby girl’ and says she has ‘huge thighs.’ Natalie is beautiful, and the fact that so many people comment on her weight is supposed to be funny. It is not.”
6. Colin is utterly clueless about why he’s not getting laid on the easternmost side of the pond.
“Colin, a British waiter who, lamenting he cannot find ‘true love’ in England, impulsively moves to the United States, blaming his lack of sexual success on English women being elitist,” Purcell writes. “Of course, that’s the only reasonable explanation for why they won’t sleep with him.”
7. Most of the relationships are based on physical attraction alone.
Take, for instance, Aurelia and Jamie’s whole plotline, Colin’s whole reason for existence, or Harry and Mia, his secretary. As Buzzfeed points out, “For a movie about love, most of these relationships are based purely on physical attraction, which is fine, but like, a big part of love is communication!”
8. Love at first sight is touted as better than any other kind of connection.
Christopher Orr of The Atlantic writes that David falls in love with Natalie “the first time he speaks with her. ‘Get a grip,’ he chides himself moments afterward—when essentially the only thing he knows about her is that she accidentally uses profanity a lot. Charming? Sure. Evidence of a soul mate? Unlikely.” Orr says the whole film elevates falling for your partner this way over “other factors associated with romantic compatibility: similar likes and dislikes, overlapping senses of humor, shared values, what have you.”
9. No one can figure out what the hell kind of movie John and Judy are working on.
“The one sex scene takes an entire month to film, at all kinds of angles and positions,” Andrew Bridgman writes on CollegeHumor.com. “It’s either the most elaborate and expensive porno ever, or it’s gonna be the first major blockbuster film to be released exclusively on PornHub. Also, I’m no movie lighting expert, but odds are you never need to really have someone ACTUALLY cupping a girl’s boobs to ‘get the lighting right.'”
10. Speaking of porn, Mia is basically a porn actress, not a secretary, right?
The actress who plays Mia is “just constantly pointing at her vagina and licking her own face, like she’s a porn actress who forgot she was doing a mainstream movie. Or, more accurately, like the character is a porn actress who forgot she was working in a real office,” Lindy West emphatically notes. “LOVE ACTUALLY SEES NO PROBLEM WITH TREATING ITS FEMALE CHARACTERS LIKE GIANT BIPEDAL VAGINAS IN SWEATER VESTS.”
11. Why is it up to Sarah to initiate things with Karl?
12. “All I Want For Christmas” should be sung by Mariah Carey, full stop.
“The sound of children singing this song is grating to my ears,” Buzzfeed‘s writers complain. “Like, it should be against the law for anyone to cover this Christmas classic! Let’s only play Mariah’s version from now until the end of time.”