How to Fix Love Actually

Love ActuallyI demand a new edit!

Since 2003, Love Actually has become almost a part of the holiday season. It is on TV, the DVDs are on sale. Some people love it, some people don’t; for me, I always have viewed it as a beautiful mess.

What I mean by that is that I see the well-intentioned heart under the surface, but there is a lot of embarrassing junk covering it up. You know what I mean, the stuff you throw away that you hope not even the garbage man sees.

The film also makes me sad, because it is a slipup of a writer I actually enjoy most of the time (and it could be argued should have known better). While in the movie world he is known mainly for romantic-comedies (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones), in my opinion his genius has always thrived in television. Richard Curtis is the man who gave us Black Adder, Mr. Bean, The Vicar of Dibley and probably one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes of all time (“Vincent and the Doctor”). If you don’t know what I am referring to here, check them out pronto!

But here is the kicker, while most movies after they are completed are what they are and we have to accept it, there is so much going on in Love Actually that a little correcting doesn’t feel impossible.

It would be like going to a barber but for films. A snip here, a snip there and suddenly we have a film that maybe the whole family can enjoy. Granted, some of my hopes are beyond the skills of the editor (unless we are lucky and there are deleted scenes out there), but quite a few of these could be done almost easily, all it would take are a pair of sharp scissors. I will even put a Christmas bow on them if it helps. Continue reading

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Film Review: The Pirates!

I have a new film review up at Green Spot Blue for the children’s comedy, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (here).  Here is the beginning of the review:

I want to begin this review with my only little complaint; which could really be considered by some a tangent. Did you know in England and Europe that this film is called The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and yet here in the USA it is called The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Is anyone else insulted by this change like I am?

It reminds me like how they changed the first Harry Potter book from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to a Sorcerer’s Stone (and let’s note the philosopher’s stone is an actual item from mythology, as compared to the made up and—lets say it—obvious and easily named “sorcerer’s stone”). Should we as a culture be annoyed by what this says about us? (Yes, is my initial response.) Are our kids really that anti-education/school/science that entertainment power players don’t even want to try and go down this road?

Have they actually tested to see if they would lose money with the original title here in our country? Is there focus group material out there with kids that I can see showing why they made the change? Or did some ordinary dude in a powerful position who didn’t like science in school, and thought he could speak for all Americans everywhere, simply do this?

Whatever the case, as you can tell, this change bothers me. Personally, I don’t they think the original title would drive kids away. And isn’t the idea of having an adventure with scientists kind of funny a concept by itself?

OK, I got that out of my system; let’s get to the review of the film. And let me state I am not going to talk like a pirate in this review or do any bad pirate puns.

You can read the rest of my review (and why I recommend taking your child to see it) here.