EMOTIONS

27 things that have been compared to “Love Actually,” the Anne Hathaway of movies

In the 13 years since its release, Love Actually has been called both “the greatest modern Christmas movie” and “a terrible dumpster fire.” To have strong opinions about this 2003 classic is inevitable; to profess neutrality unacceptable.

Along with round-the-clock Christmas music and ever-sillier New Year’s glasses, Love Actually hot takes are a consistent harbinger of another year completed, and in this regard at least, 2016 did not disappoint. The movie inspired a Saturday Night Live skit, got us into the holiday spirit, and made us question one of its pivotal scenes. We ranked its plotlines, praised its soundtrack, and made our boyfriends watch it for the first time. We learned things we never knew, plus secrets we might not have known, and awful things we might have overlooked. We even broke it down into charts.

So powerful is Love Actually’s cultural influence that the movie has inspired its own vocabulary of analogies: films, television shows, and even foodstuffs that bring to mind the controversial Christmas flick. In no particular order, here is a list of Love Actually likenesses:

2012: the “Love Actually of disaster movies”
“…bits and pieces from other, better disaster movies reassembled, lovingly, and cranked all the way up to 11.” The Playlist

Office Christmas Party: the “Love Actually of dude-centric workplace comedies”
“Depending on who you are, that may not be a comparison to be entirely proud of.” ScreenPicks

High Maintenance: the “Love Actually of Brooklyn hipster comedy”
“[The] lives of each of these characters are delicately connected to one another through their shared acquaintance and in subtle ways apparent only to the audience.” Sling

“Drynuary”: the “Love Actually of lifestyle choices”
“Most people don’t care either way, but the same handful return year after year to tell you how bad—or how good—a programming choice you’re making. The New York Times

The series finale of Downton Abbey: the “Love Actually of series finales”
“…a joyously light-hearted affair for most characters involved.” Vanity Fair

The music video for “Locked Away” by R. City featuring Adam Levine: the “Love Actually of music videos”
“(Adam Levine is Bill Nighy.)”@soniakharkar on li.st

Eat, Pray, Love: the “Love Actually of travel books”
“Men, just a public safety warning—if you’re not into your feelings, this will be kryptonite to you.” Taraustralis

Can’t Hardly Wait: the “Love Actually of teen films”
“[Almost] everyone is in here for no particular reason other than to throw the most epic graduation party.” —Ultimate Lacroix

Iron Man 2: the “Love Actually of action flicks”
“Bring on the subplots!” —commenter, The A.V. Club

Cloud Atlas: the “Love Actually of spiritual cinema”
“…massive cast…” superaalifragilistic

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: the “Love Actually of animated movies”
“…a bunch of characters you’d never expect to see in the same place.”Shmoop

Watership Down: the “Love Actually of children’s movies”
“Not only do we get to know and love an ensemble cast of whimsically-named bunny rabbits, we also get to follow them on an emotional journey to their increasingly gruesome deaths.” Hugzilla

Crash: the “Love Actually of films about discrimination”
“…a compilation of set pieces that in the end ‘crashed’ into one another.” —Reddit commenter

Collateral Beauty: the “Love Actually of terminal illness films”
“Just when you’re thinking that things can’t possibly get worse, Keira Knightley shows up.” —Stuff

Contagion: the “Love Actually of disease thrillers”
“The similarities tend to end at the narrative’s structure and film’s elite cast. This is because twenty-seven million people don’t die in Love Actually. Nor does Gwyneth Paltrow get scalped.” Lip

A 2014 commercial for UK department store John Lewis: the “Love Actually of Christmas adverts”
“Feel free to take a moment to really just roll all around in the holiday feels.” —Telly Visions

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: the “Love Actually of Shakespeare comedies”
“All intersecting and converging story lines, each filled with its own hilarious escapades.”Londonist

White Christmas: the “Love Actually of the 1950s”
“Only not an enormous travesty.” —RVANews

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: the “Love Actually of fantasy movies”
“Just some endings cobbled together.” —Filmaluation

Big Miracle: the “Love Actually of the whale genre”
“…interconnecting storylines…” –Popsugar

George Frideric Handel’s 1741 oratorio, Messiah: the “Love Actually of ye olden days”
“Can I get a Hallelujah?” The Urban List

A viral video of a man giving his wife a car for Christmas: the “Love Actually of the Snapchat generation”
“What a wonderful, romantic, holiday treat.” The News Wheel

Pound-for-pound lists: the “Love Actually of the boxing world”
“[A] reality-retarded, absurd-soaked synthetic that says little and explains even less.” The Comeback

“I Love You, Shauna,” a 2014 website created by a man to win back his ex: the “Love Actually of internet apologia”
“…all about the manfolk’s feelings.” Jezebel

The grilled goat’s cheese salad at the Blue Kangaroo restaurant in London: the “Love Actually of salads”
“[You] are either big on this flavor or you hate it.” —The Telegraph

Some members of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2016 offense: the “Love Actually of NFL wide receivers”
“…lots of names you’ve heard of, none of them good, and after watching them for 2 ½ hours you want to throw up.” The Fake Football

Delhi Dhaba, an Indian restaurant in Arlington, Virginia: the “Love Actually of Indian buffets in the greater DC area”
“It doesn’t market itself too aggressively, but you walk out of it feeling good about your choice. It doesn’t have the rogue suspense of Sleepless in Seattle or the fairytale allure of Pretty Woman, but it does the job. There are few people who would say Love Actually is the best romantic comedy of all time, over classics like Annie Hall and The Princess Bride, but no one hates on it either. Delhi Dhaba is strong in its delivery, supporting cast (menu options), and framework.” —Yelp reviewer

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