Holiday-themed romantic comedies have never been bigger—just ask the Hallmark Channel and Netflix. But before there were floods of feel-good, formulaic, made-for-tv films, there was Love Actually.
Unlike today’s holiday rom-coms, the 15-year-old Richard Curtis film actually has some wit to the script. It’s also not entirely about romance. It’s about all the kinds of situations love touches—friendships, family, crushes, unrequited love, extramarital affairs, and grief. Not all the plots end on a high note. Some couples get together, others are left heartbroken. But that element of realism is part of what makes the movie good.
Today, the homogenous characters—all straight, white, and relatively thin—wouldn’t meet consumer demands for modern, smart, sweet comedies. And in the wake of #MeToo, some of the plots are deeply unsettling in their treatment of women, as several writers have pointed out. At Quartz, though, we agree with Business Insider’s Kim Renfro: Enjoy as long as you keep your eyes wide open.
We covered the film in one of this week’s Obsession emails, but because it’s the season of giving, we’re sharing this deeply nerdy chart with everyone.