Movie Review: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

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Plot: When a woman’s long-time friend reveals he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.

Rating: 6/10

I was so looking forward to this. Julia Roberts in her heyday? I am so onboard watching her films, any of her work really, but especially anything done that time period. The film also stars a really young and hunky Dermot Mulroney (SURPRISE) and an equally young and fresh faced Cameron Diaz. But here is what I can tell you about this film:

Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) is an annoying character who is having a tantrum about the fact that she’s been friendzoning an amazing man for years and now that he’s moved on she wants him back. She’s also clearly evil and doesn’t mind hurting a perfectly nice and innocent young woman just because her title as the perfect girl is being attacked. Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz) is Julianne’s nemesis in here purely because she dared to date a clearly single and unattached man.

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I can tell you that the message of this film was clear – MOVE ON AND DON’T POACH. Seriously – Kimmy was so perfect it hurt teeth to look at her, but she was a good person who loved her fiancé. Julianne, who incidentally is the “heroine” of this film, is notoriously horrible to men and obsessed with herself. I just didn’t appreciate the fact that the heroine was horrible and that the story didn’t have the traditionally happy ending we demand from romantic comedies – If I want moral lessons or unhappy endings I would rather check out another genre, thanks so much.

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Can I just also ask what is going on in this film regarding that pesky thing women’s rights? Kimberly is nearly a decade younger (or maybe more) than her fiance, and she’s dropping out of school as a promising student to be with him? She clearly states that she would love to start her career. The power of this movie could have been much more if Julianne Porter spoke up and advised the girl that you could both have a career and still be a functioning female with a successful marriage? And that little scene where Michael strips himself and starts screaming at her in the restaurant because she dare voice worries about the job he loves that doesn’t pay so well? Uhm, not a foot to stand on my friend – you are taking her career from her. Okay, little rant over.

I’m rating this 6/10 because I’m petty and angry about the ending. The rest of the film is probably okay if you are fine dealing with the root-canal version of a heroine. As a last comment I can say that Dermot Mulroney was pretty damn hunky in his youth and suits my idea of the ultimate 90’s man as well despite the fact that he’s named Dermot. I’ll leave you with that, folks. Let me know what you thought about this in the comments!

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Movie Review: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

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Plot: When a woman’s long-time friend reveals he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.

Rating: 6/10

I was so looking forward to this. Julia Roberts in her heyday? I am so onboard watching her films, any of her work really, but especially anything done that time period. The film also stars a really young and hunky Dermot Mulroney (SURPRISE) and an equally young and fresh faced Cameron Diaz. But here is what I can tell you about this film:

Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) is an annoying character who is having a tantrum about the fact that she’s been friendzoning an amazing man for years and now that he’s moved on she wants him back. She’s also clearly evil and doesn’t mind hurting a perfectly nice and innocent young woman just because her title as the perfect girl is being attacked. Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz) is Julianne’s nemesis in here purely because she dared to date a clearly single and unattached man.

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I can tell you that the message of this film was clear – MOVE ON AND DON’T POACH. Seriously – Kimmy was so perfect it hurt teeth to look at her, but she was a good person who loved her fiancé. Julianne, who incidentally is the “heroine” of this film, is notoriously horrible to men and obsessed with herself. I just didn’t appreciate the fact that the heroine was horrible and that the story didn’t have the traditionally happy ending we demand from romantic comedies – If I want moral lessons or unhappy endings I would rather check out another genre, thanks so much.

I’m rating this 6/10 because I’m petty and angry about the ending. The rest of the film is probably okay if you are fine dealing with the root-canal version of a heroine. As a last comment I can say that Dermot Mulroney was pretty damn hunky in his youth and suits my idea of the ultimate 90’s man as well despite the fact that he’s named Dermot. I’ll leave you with that, folks. Let me know what you thought about this in the comments!

Movie Review: How to lose a guy in ten days (2003)

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Plot: Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies’ man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the “How To” beat for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.  

Rating: 6.5/10

Before yelling All right, all right all right, wearing a cowboy hat and going into space, Matthew McConaughey was best known for acting in a long list of questionable romantic comedies. Since it kept that handsome mug of his fed I’m not too despondent about it, and he was able to star in a number of slightly amusing ones, such as How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days.

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It is easy to say what I liked – I found the stints Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) pulled on Benjamin Barry hilarious. They are such cliché’s and so highly irritating I’m surprised the character didn’t completely lose his mind. Kate Hudson displayed a good amount of comedic ability and it seemed that she was having a great time with this movie. The inclusion of Kathryn Hahn and Adam Goldberg as colleagues slash friends to Andy and Benjamin respectively were also good decisions as they are great supporting actors. The plot managed to maintain its cool – I’m not going to claim that this is a plausible scenario nor a very wise one, but they did manage to link the two characters up by deliberate actions of Barry’s coworkers. The only scene to which I took exception to was the singing at the formal dinner party – I mean which two professional people would do that with both their employers present?

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How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days isn’t the type of film to win an Oscar obviously, but I don’t think it had ever such esteemed expectations during production. From a comedic standpoint it had some great laughs and from a romantic one it isn’t nauseating mostly because our main female lead was from the start cynical and amused at her job challenge. It is highly recommended that you don’t watch this if you can’t switch off your brain once in a while to enjoy a movie though – not for the very serious minded movie buffs 😀

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PS: As a side note to romantic comedies I might add that the valuable lesson that can be taken from this is to never play with other people’s emotions. It is really not nice to use someone as an article accessory or to win a bet at work, idiots.

Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

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October was by far the slowest month in my year in entertainment. I’m really hopeful that this is the last semester where I will ever have to write a BSc Theoretical exam, so I’ve spent every moment that I wasn’t at work in front of a book. I really hope it will pay off – my heart won’t be able to handle the trauma of failing a subject. So it has been quiet on the entertainment front and even the blog front, but I’ve managed to include see and read some things here and there though, so here is a quick rundown J

Watched:

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Bourne Supremacy

I really hope I wrote a proper review on this, because I can barely recall the film now. I know it was fast paced and good and very Bourne, and I guess that is what counts.

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10 Cloverfield Lane

I LOVED this. The review should be up some time this week, and I am totally with the crowd on this one. It was a phenomenal performance from all three main characters, and they were able to create maddening suspense throughout.

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New Year’s Eve (2011)

I was quite obsessed with this film (to get to see it), and it was so meh. It was probably one of the last films Gary Marshall ever produced, and I hoped it would be something similar to Valentine’s Day. In all essence it was but lacked the heart.

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You Again (2010)

I enjoyed this on the most basic level. It had a pretty good message that bullying stays with you forever and it was nice to watch such a light movie where romance wasn’t the core of the plot.

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The Choice (2016)

I have this game with Nicholas Sparks movies where I HAVE to watch it despite knowing it will probably end up being super crap. But The Choice is one of the better ones, certainly better than the awful Best of Me, and I has a somewhat of a decent time with it.

Read:

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The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

I finally finished TWWSTM. It was gigantic, and maybe 50 pages too long and then ended up with a rough ending, but this is the least bizarre book I’ve read from Keyes in a while.

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Definitely Dead / All Together Dead / From Dead to Worse

Exam brain wants me back on books where I need no brain power, and I’ve been reading some of the Southern Vampire Mysteries again. I’ve actually been having a really good time with this non-Pulitzer material.

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New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

I’m slowly making my way through these books. Bella is a joy to behold in this particular novel, let me tell you. I always have fun with this – part enjoyment; part scoffing, and it has been the perfect read throughout exam time.

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I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

This book is SO good. It is obviously a book that was written at the beginning of the dystopic craze; because the ideas are original and GOOD, and things are named intelligently (the naming conventions in other dystopian novels are quite ridiculous). I need to finish this still, but it is going well.

On a Life front, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I got myself a new car. It really wasn’t an option as I was in a car accident that wrote my little Suzuki Alto off. To say I was upset was an understatement, and it was pretty stressful sorting it out. I have to say my insurers were absolutely fantastic, and I will (and have) recommended them to anybody. However, it was the first car I’d ever owned, and I was so heart sore about the entire process.

It feels like a lot of things have happened the last month. I’ve had a dear friend in hospital, I’ve been in an accident, there was a break-in at my sister’s boyfriend’s house and another friend of mine got attacked and robbed at gunpoint.  So it’s been quite hectic. I’m in need of a Bilbo Baggins holiday to say the LEAST. Oh, I also went to a bachelorettes that was quite wild, and let me tell you, I was shocked at some of the actions there. I’ve been to a significant amount of wild parties in my young life, so when I am shocked, I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D. It feels like I need a peaceful December without any drama. I am on leave for two weeks at the end of December (hear me sobbing in gratitude), and I am so happy that I will get to a place where I don’t need to start functioning at 4:30 am. It will be great.

Anyway, what’s news on your side?

PS: Let’s not even talk about my Blindspot progress. It’s worse than the state of the American election right now.

PPS: I can’t wait until Hillary wins JUST so that Donald can shut TF up.

Movie Review: 27 Dresses (2008)

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Plot: After serving as a bridesmaid 27 times, a young woman wrestles with the idea of standing by her sister’s side as her sibling marries the man she’s secretly in love with.

Rating: 6.5/10

27 Dresses is actually a horror film. No really, I found it very weird and entertaining. Imagine being  a bridesmaid 27 times – I can’t think of a better plot synopsis for a horror story.

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However, 27 Dresses isn’t marketed as a horror, but actually a romcom, because yes, Judi Greer is again a supporting best friend. She’s allowed now to be a sarcastic best friend, which is the best type to have. We have James Marsden, another frequenter of the romcom scene, and what I can tell you right now is that his dress sense is the most offensive thing about this film – can someone just help him out a bit? He is the angry romantically slighted reporter Kevin Doyle, who sets out to unmask the woman who is involved in so many weddings – a heinous crime, to be sure. Edward Burns is George – the perfect man that would irritate the shit out of anyone in real life, and Malin Ackerman is Tess – sister of main character Jane (seriously inventive names for the lead characters here, wow), and is the prototypical flinty younger sister who gets everything and is a little bit selfish, spoiled and mean.

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Then we have Jane, by Katherine Heigl, the lady who had a field day with romantic comedies shortly after her departure from Greys Anatomy. I completely enjoy her in romantic comedies, it would seem that she was made for these roles, which on further inspection is an insult to her and definitely not a compliment.

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Despite everything listed that definitely informs you that this film is the romantic comedy you see every single day of your life, it still manages to be mildly entertaining. Everything that happens is predictable from the first word uttered, and nothing unexpected or shocking happens. But if you are searching for a movie to not think about – really, no thought processes are required – you can find something to watch in 27 Dresses.

Movie Review: The Proposal (2009)

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Plot:  A pushy boss forces her young assistant to marry her in order to keep her visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.

Rating: 7/10

It seems that I can put movies into two categories in my life – what I saw before the blog, and what I saw after I started the blog. There is some time difference (I think I started here in 2011/2012), so most of the things in the “before” section needs to be looked at again.

The Proposal is one of those films. For some reason didn’t enjoy it back then. I think I was convinced that Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds had no chemistry on screen. It’s not true though – they worked well together. Can I just be a bit happy for the challenged gender stereotypes in here? Bullock is the total boss and Ryan is her assistant and I was just like yasss queen.

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Most romantic comedies have some gaping holes that should have been stories though, and The Proposal doesn’t really escape from that. I would have enjoyed seeing Andrew’s relationship with his dad being addressed as it was obviously full of anger.  It was sadly just used as a ploy to get Andrew to connect more to Margaret. I’m very confused why Gertude (Malin Ackerman) was named Gertrude and why the hell she was even in this story. She’s obviously Andrew’s old girlfriend, and that’s fine, but why is she only that? Like, she doesn’t cause Andrew to question what he’s doing, he doesn’t seem to b aware of her existence, nothing. It also seems that Malin Ackerman’s main claim to acting is walking into a room and to smile, waiting for the other characters to notice how pretty she is.  It’s mean, but I’ve yet to find a role where she actually has a purpose.

I really enjoyed Betty White as the grandma, she was a complete scream as usual. This woman has just seemingly spent her entire life being a complete joy to everyone around her, and I liked that her character wasn’t just this old granny, she had a ton of personality and opinions.

I definitely enjoyed this film. It seems I’ve given it quite a high rating with a seven, but films should be judged within their genre, and whether you had a damn good time. And I say YES to both of these questions!

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Movie Review: The Wedding Planner (2001)

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Plot: Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful supplier of romance and glamor. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom.

Rating: 5/10

A long time ago before Mathhew McConaughey starred in critically acclaimed projects like True Detective and that other horse movie everyone liked, he was involved in some romantic comedies, which, for a lack of a better phrase, sucked. The Wedding Planner is quite bad. I’m talking plot, I’m talking acting. I knew what would happen when Steven saved Mary – it was so damn obvious that he would be the fiancé of Fran. I really hate any movie where there is justified cheating involved. The Wedding planner at least didn’t stoop that low, and points to them for not writing Fran as a terrible woman, which somehow is enough reason in a film to justify her future spouse to cheat on her. What I mean to say is that at least The Wedding Planner did not stoop that low, because I would have not been impressed. For all his dubious actions, at least Steven only made his move after breaking it off with Fran (to be clear, only because Mary told him NO). There were a few scenes where Massimo was deliberately dumbed down, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit irritated – a different nationality and accent does not make you worthy of ridicule, American story writers! I also don’t want to say “Poor Judi Greer is Judi Greer again”, but it is true, and she’s so young here it was probably the first film where she was cast as the supportive best friend with a touch of ditzy. She will be my first choice to cast as a lead female if I ever get to write and produce a movie, because the woman has earned it. Her acting is most certainly better than that of Jennifer Lopez. I’m glad she left behind the urge she had in the early 2000s to be an actress, because while she’s impressive in her music genre, her talent certainly doesn’t pull through to acting.

Mostly, The Wedding Planner is a movie that makes you understand why its’ genre gets hated so much. Predictable, a little bit sexist and completely unbelievable, this film is better suited for the Dark Ages than it is for today

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Movie Review: Pretty Woman (1990)

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Plot: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

Rating: 8/10

I’m finally catching up with some romantic comedies from the 80’s and 90’s that I feel is a crying shame I haven’t got to yet – and it is totally worth it! I absolutely loved Clueless when I first copped on that it is an adaption of Emma. Heathers was so dark and disdainful, and I thought it worked well for the film. When Harry Met Sally quickly lined up to be one of my favorite romantic comedies ever.

Pretty Woman now joined When Harry Met Hally. I loved this film quite a lot and was so depressed when it finished because I wanted more of Richard Gere’s 90’s suit and mannitude and more of the gorgeous Julia Roberts being hilarious, sweet, convincing and authentic.

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Pretty Woman is a film that would get trashed if it was released today. People are way too sensitive about suddenly not offending anyone, and this film about a prostitute and a businessman would not have gone down right – and that is society’s loss.

I enjoyed the clothes – just look at these office shorts Roberts is wearing, as well as numerous padded shoulder pieces. Gere is rarely out of a suit, but I won’t complain anytime soon, he looked so male and in charge (cue: delicious). The best outfit was naturally the night they went to the opera – breath taken away. I wish everyone can have a night like that.

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Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey was very disgusting and convincing. He was such a cutthroat lawyer and out to always win, and jealous of Edward Lewis who had excellent business skills and enviable charm. He suited the tone perfectly proving that although Edward was decent and a gentleman, few of his friends would be like that once they found out Vivian’s occupation.

Hector Elizondo returns as the man who facilitates makeover, and I love him in that role. If you’ve ever seen The Princess Diaries, there is no way that you are not loving this man help young women (which sounds decidedly creepy!).

Pretty Woman is sweet and flows well. There is humor, and Julia Roberts has a surprising amount of comedic ability when she turns it on. I thought she really did an excellent job as Vivian – a bit tarty, but capable, kind and still being able to carry herself around with dignity even with what she does. The film is really sweet in places, and Roberts seems to genuinely enjoy herself and it shows. If you are like me and have never seen this, I suggest that you do because it is great!

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Movie Review: Trainwreck (2015)

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Plot: Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.

So let’s start this off by me saying that Trainwreck is not what the hype suggests. I’m pretty sure it went straight to DVD in SA, but I saw a bunch of people liking it and thought it was worth the try. It really isn’t a bad film, but it is funny almost by accident. For the life of me I cannot understand the hype around Amy Schumer. For a comedian she could be worse but as an actress she is downright terrible. I don’t get why people are saying that this movie is “So Real”. The movie is really about a terrible woman who needs to grow up. Movie Amy is mean spirited and cold to everyone. The movie is inappropriate, racist, homophobic and not really funny about it.

I do think that Bill Hader is the best thing about Trainwreck. Can we please see him in more movies? I would really love that. His character seems so genuine and just a normal and successful guy, worthy of love but terrible at choosing partners.

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The movie has all these characters that are either terrible stereotypes or underdeveloped – Tilda Swinton is underutilized, that best friend girl of Amy is just there to be annoying and how did LeBron James find himself in a movie? I really have no idea.

Trainwreck isn’t all that bad though. There are some scenes where I genuinely did laugh, even if it was in a moment of weakness for some terrible humor. As mentioned, I really enjoyed Bill Hader and even thought that John Cena had some gems in here – poor guy and terrible stereotype, but sweet regardless. The romantic tone of the movie is sweet but unfortunately often marred by unnecessary sexual jokes and scenes.

Definitely not worth the hype, a bit too long, very underutilized characters and not really the social commentary or testimony to Amy Schumer’s greatness that I’ve heard. You could do worse, but you can definitely do better as well.

Blindspot 2016: Love Actually (2003)

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Plot:Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked:

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Alan Rickman. I feel that he should do the voiceovers on my life. My sarcasm levels are spectacular and he sounds like the inside of my head feels like (but female. Erm.). He also played a character I’m not used to seeing him portray – just a normal man in a marriage that has become monotonous and a habit (he was also a bit of a douche though)

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Colin Firth. Sheesh. My love for this man. He’s so sweet and British and perfect. His character had such bad luck – i.e. his girlfriend banging someone, and then his story went so lovely and romantic and all bilingual. Goodness. (I do wish he had more time on screen though!)

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The kid who found true love and his father. Liam Neeson? Yes. He is such an enjoyable actor and seeing him paired up with this lovesick baby was just too adorable.

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Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and his lady friend. They could have made a movie exclusively about these two and it would have work much better. Hugh Grant has buckets of cool and class and style. He is quite quiet lately (Except for the spectacular The Man From U.N.C.L.E) and I wish he would appear in more things. The dry British wit, charm, amazing hair and improbably Prime Minister antics were hilarious and sweet.

Martin Freeman – it is so weird to see him playing a normal character. It was fun though.

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These two – however, they were really just thrown into the story and pulled so frequently that it felt that they were time fillers, and it is sad since Laura Linney gave one of the best performances in the movie.

What I didn’t like:

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Keira Knightley. So. Annoying. This was before she went on her serious roles binge and she used to be this preppy, overly larged mouthed quirky person (the Bend it Like Beckham years). I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, she’s WAY too good in playing an evil character. It must be, inherent. That was mean, I am sorry, BUT, her character in here  – it was one thing for that guy to be a stalker infatuated with her, but eventually he got over it and THEN SHE KISSED HIM. You were married like what, three weeks ago, TO HIS BEST FRIEND?

Did the writer get bored with finalizing the script? That is what happens when there are too many characters in one movie. Kris Marshall’s escapades to the States? He was such a funny little oddball character and got about three scenes and had no real screen time.

Bill Nighy’s character. What happened here? Was he declaring that he’s in love with his manager OR that he loves his manager, which, both are totally fine, but I would love to know which one it was.

I can say that Love Actually isn’t a bad film. It has some good moments, but too many characters made what could have been a good movie vaguely confusing.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Perfect

#stalker