leave your inhibitions at the door
I saw a ton of top holiday-themed movie lists in the past couple of months and I was happy to see that “Love Actually” made a lot of the them. It’s easily one of my favorite movies –holiday or not. For those unfamiliar, it’s an exploration of different types of love – new love, unreturned love, sibling love, love between old friends, etc. It’s one of those ensemble flicks with 800 characters and 43 different story lines like “Valentine’s Day” or “New Year’s Eve”. Except, because it’s British, it doesn’t suck.
The most hilarious scene is where a young Englishman named Colin, frustrated in his quest for sex, is convinced he can score in America. He sells his possessions for a plane ticket to “exotic” Milwaukee where he meets some very hot young girls in a bar. The girls are completely smitten by his accent and, since he had nowhere to stay, invite him back to their place. They’re concerned he won’t accept the offer because they only have one bed. And no couch. And can’t afford pajamas. (For some reason I can’t embed any of the YouTube clips, so you can see it here.)
I had a somewhat similar situation a few years ago in Chicago. I was at a holiday pub crawl with coworkers and some incredibly gorgeous, recent grads – actually better looking than the girls in the movie – said I should stay at their place rather than make the trek back to the suburbs with my drunk boss. They even offered to call Boom Boom to ask permission. As tempting as it was, there was no way in hell I would’ve survived her wrath, even though it was completely platonic. I’ll probably get in trouble for even remembering the story.
Anyway, another of the movie’s story lines featured aging, Keith Richards-esque rock star Billy Mack and his relationship with his longtime manager. Together they stage an unlikely comeback with the absolutely awful “Christmas is All Around” – a re-working of the Troggs’ 1967 hit “Love is All Around”. The song was covered R.E.M. but the version I remember best was done by Scottish band Wet Wet Wet in 1993.
What I didn’t remember was the video or what these guys looked like. For as much of a bubblegum pop song this is, it’s weird seeing such a dark, brooding video for it. And I don’t know what I expected the lead singer to look like, but it wasn’t “hard rocker”. Although he could have been going for “Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Guy”.