Director Calls ‘Love Actually’ A ‘Catastrophe’ And A ‘Nightmare’

Love Actually is one of those cult films that you can see a dozen times during the holidays. If a television network isn’t airing it, then you can bet someone you know is playing the Colin Firth classic. So it’s a surprise that director-writer Richard Curtis doesn’t have the fondest memories about making the 2003 film.

In an interview which took place at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the filmmaker opened up about the unfortunate experience of feeling rushed while making Love Actually, calling the film a “catastrophe.”

“The only nightmare scenario that I’ve been caught in was Love Actually, which worked at the read-through, and when we finished the film and I watched it edited it was… a catastrophe.”

So what didn’t Curtis like about the film? Well, according to the director it was the difficulty in balancing all of the couples and their stories. A format that has been done over and over since the film came out in 2003. “There were twelve stories, [finding the right order] was like three-dimensional chess… And that was enormously difficult to finish or get right.”

For those who aren’t familiar, the ensemble cast includes Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Martine McCutcheon, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson and Martin Freeman.

Regardless, the movie left viewers with magical moments like this one, which has been spoofed and quoted nearly a million times throughout the millennium.

Despite that, even though the movie was successful, the director wasn’t pleased with Love Actually’s final product. He continued to talk about the time constraints, “You could have played with it for all time – but it had to be out by Christmas.”

This isn’t the only film he’s had a problem with. The director admitted that Notting Hill, also starring Hugh Grant, which was another popular film, actually received a rewrite based on a read through that had been done at the beginning of production.

Despite Curtis not having the best time making the film, it’s still one of the most popular holiday films out there.

Though we should note that not everyone loved the film, The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr didn’t have an issue with it, and calling it “the lead romantic film of all time.”

What’s your opinion?

Love Actually

[Image via Universal Films]

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