Last night I was snivelling over the end of Love Actually, because every Christmas season needs to involve snivelling over Love Actually, when Tim came in from work. He looked over my shoulder to see Colin Firth proposing to his Portuguese housekeeper in a crowded restaurant.
‘That’s my favourite storyline in this film’, he said.
I was surprised. I don’t know why. I suppose that I assume everyone’s favourite storyline involves Hugh Grant shaking his backside in 10 Downing Street. But, you know what, it is totally right that Tim goes for the Colin Firth. That strand is about a quiet, unassuming chap following his heart through a series of embarrassing encounters. It is low-key (at least until the big finish), but sweetly romantic. So it fits him.
Then suddenly, I had a GRAND THEORY. What if everyone’s favourite Love Actually storyline told you exactly what kind of person they were? And immediately I knew without a shadow of a doubt and with every fibre of my being that this theory was true, and would probably end up bringing about world peace, at least. Where do you fit in? Read on…
the Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon thread
if the chirpy-Cockney-sparrer-meets-Prime-Minister thread is your favourite, you are probably so English they could cut you open and find bourbon biscuits. You like stammery, understated British humour, and cheer during the Harry Potter speech where he sticks it to the US President. You are a sucker for a mismatched love story with a happy ending. You would pay to watch Hugh Grant doing that bottom-shaking victory dance on a loop. You are astonished by how good Martine McCutcheon looks in red.
the Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln thread
if the best-friend-loves-hopelessly-from-afar thread is your favourite, then picture postcard romance and grand gestures set your heart aflutter. You have paused, screen-capped and retweeted the scene where Andrew Lincoln holds up the placard saying ‘To me, you are perfect’. Its loveliness is such that you don’t even mind that a skateboard is better at delivering lines than Andrew Lincoln. You desperately want someone to arrange a secret orchestra to attend your wedding. In other news, you have genuine designs on Keira’s glorious pink London house.
the Colin Firth and Portuguese girl thread
if the awkward-broken-hearted-writer-falls-for-awkward-Portuguese-girl thread is your favourite, you like to see the quiet guy getting the girl for a change. You are probably an understated sort of person yourself, so you understand the agonies that accompany social embarrassment, and never being able to communicate the right thing. You like the thought of looking for love in unexpected places. You think you could cut quite a dash in a roll-neck jumper, actually.
the Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson thread
if the middle-aged-husband-tempted-away-from-middle-aged-wife thread is your favourite, you recognise that Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson are the best things on any screen, and watching them together is worth getting your heart broken. You know that not all stories end happily. That Joni Mitchell song makes you cry. The moment where Emma Thompson hugs Hugh Grant makes you cry. Her speech about making a fool out of the life she leads makes you cry too. On reflection, you might be a sadist. But damn, you’d watch Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson selling vacuum bags, and call it a good afternoon.
the Liam Neeson and cute little boy thread
if the bereaved-man-helps-stepson-find-love thread is your favourite, you might have a soft spot usually indulged by weeping at films where the dog dies at the end. You are eternally optimistic that grand tragedies can turn into happy endings, possibly involving Claudia Schiffer. You can’t refuse anything to a tiny moppet with big eyes. You have always, always wanted an airport declaration scene to happen to you. You find it slightly odd that Liam Neeson’s Irish accent sounds weird, especially since he’s IRISH.
the Laura Linney thread
if the selfless-woman-sabotages-own-love-life-for-ill-brother thread is your favourite, you might have a keen sense of family ties. You are probably used to putting yourself aside for the responsibilities you owe to others. You love to watch a good awkward first date. You’ve been known to knock out a secret happy dance or two. That ring tone now makes you tear up a bit.
the Bill Nighy thread
if the washed-up-bad-grandad-gets-number-one-hit thread is your favourite, you like an old person who isn’t afraid of an f-word. You like your comedy broad and a bit saucy. You don’t think you’ll ever unburn the image of a naked Bill Nighy from your retinas, but you still think he can do no wrong (he can’t. The end).
the Martin Freeman is naked thread
if the naked-body-doubles thread is your favourite, you don’t blush easily (I do – Tim made me a version of the film without this thread in it. Shh, don’t tell Working Title).
the Kris Marshall and the American girls thread
if the bumbling-fool-proves-irresistible-to-American-babes thread is your favourite, you might be an idiot. Or you might really like those BT ads. That’s all.
Remember kids, love actually IS all around. Now go and watch it again.
What do you think? Did I get it right? Are we going to cure cancer with this thing, or what?
UPDATED BECAUSE: I forgot to say – I’m an Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson person. Did you guess?