We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Doctor Nerdlove writes that Love Actually is a great, surprising source of dating advice.
There are very few Christmas movies that get watched at stately NerdLove Manor. There're only so many treacly impassioned peons to the Hallmark idea of the holidays that my constitution is willing to take, so I keep my holiday viewings to the Holy Trinity of Christmas Movies: Gremlins, Die Hard and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
I may need to start adding Love Actually to the mix.
Love Actually was a 2003 holiday film with an astoundingly (British) star-studded cast — Bill Nighy! Chiwetel Ejiofor! Colin Firth! Hugh Grant! Alan Rickman! Emma Thompson! A pre-zombie-apocalypse Andrew Lincoln! A whole bunch of people I don't know at all but are probably really important in the UK — all about love and family and what it means over the holidays.
To be perfectly honest, I was prepared to hate it. I've mentioned how I feel about romantic "comedies" before: they're mawkish and unrealistic, following characters who make unwise decisions and rewarding men for not growing or changing and generally sending all the wrong messages to the audience.
So imagine my surprise when not only was this movie genuinely sweet and realistic about relationships, but it also managed to avoid my rom-com pet peeves.
(Well, except for one.)
This really is a movie that guys could learn a few things from. Things like . . .
There's a Fine Line Between Clever and Creepy Colin (Kriss Marshall), a would-be raconteur and wit with a . . . well, a face even a mother might have some issues with, prefers to try to woo women with his scintillating dialogue and snappy repartee. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't quite know where the line is when it comes to his jokes and trips over it with glorious abandon on a regular basis. Whether it's calling the attractive secretary his future wife (she doesn't appreciate it) or telling guests at a wedding that the hors d'oeuvres resemble slices of baby feet, it seems that the only thing his mouth is good for is sticking his foot in it. Some people are masters of using offensive humor effectively. Others are not. And if you don't work on your social calibration very carefully, your attempts at being funny are going to lead to a lot of blank stares and awkward silences at best.
You Can Find Love Anywhere John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page) are a couple of freelancers, a pair of working stiffs working at the same job. There's an almost instant chemistry; they're incredibly comfortable together almost immediately and they can chat with the sort of ease that usually comes with a life-long friendship.
Oh, and they're both nude body doubles for a graphic sex scene in an upcoming movie.
Love is, literally, where you find it.
Read the rest of There's a Lot to Learn From Love Actually over at The Good Men Project.