Love Actually has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition in my house.
After my family have been left deeply disappointed by my cheap Christmas gifts and disheartened by another of my mom’s underwhelming festive feasts, I put on Love Actually to show everyone that we’re not as bad as Alan Rickman cheating on Emma Thompson.
But despite Richard Curtis’ 2003 classic becoming a firm favorite in many households, some people rewatching the Christmas movie have found it to be problematic when viewed with 2021 eyes.
In a move that I’m sure nobody found surprising, many viewers have taken to social media this month to bash the star-studded flick, branding it “sexist” and “fatphobic”.
The movie’s “fatphobic” comments are mainly aimed at Martine McCutcheon’s character, Natalie – whose body is commented on multiple times throughout the movie. Recalling the reason her last boyfriend broke up with her, she says: “Nobody wants a girlfriend with thighs the size of tree trunks.”
Elsewhere in the movie, she’s described as “the chubby girl”, “plumpy”, and having a “sizeable a**e and huge thighs”.
I know there's a bit going on but please settle this debate. Which is the better movie:
— Sharnelle Vella (@SharnelleVella) December 22, 2021
In other news, love actually is extremely fatphobic and I don't know how it's taken me this many years to realise
— Freyja Elsy ❄ (@FreyjaElsy) December 6, 2021
“Love Actually is a fatphobic piece of rubbish except for the Emma Thompson CD scene. Awful film,” writes one Twitter user.
A second adds: “In other news, love actually is extremely fatphobic and I don’t know how it’s taken me this many years to realise.”
I watched Love Actually for the first time last night and not only is it fatphobic, but it’s also sexist ??? there were maybe 2 or 3 times throughout the whole thing that i laughed but most of the film i was just like “wtf, how is this considered romantic”
— ˢᵃᵈ ᵍᵒʳˡ ˢʸᵈ (@snsmith2000) December 5, 2021
One Twitter user commented: “I watched Love Actually for the first time last night and not only is it fatphobic, but it’s also sexist??? there were maybe 2 or 3 times throughout the whole thing that I laughed but most of the film I was just like ‘wtf, how is this considered romantic'”.
Many complaints of “sexism” in the movie come from how men lust after the female characters and succeed in their conquests with little issue. Colin literally flies to the US in order to find a woman who will tolerate him, Harry cheats on his wife with his assistant with very little being made of it on-screen, and Mark’s lusting over his best mate’s wife is rewarded with a kiss – rather than a “why are you standing at my door with a load of cards, I’m married to your best friend.”
love actually is a really sexist film but most of you aren’t ready to accept that yet
— RUTH (@ruth__croft) December 17, 2021
I watched Love Actually and completely ruined my netflix recommendations with that sexist dog diarrhoea
— 🎁🎀 Cat 🎀🎁 (@Rabbitsnap) December 17, 2021
Thinking about fuckin around and watching a *fun* Christmas movie tonight. Which one should I watch?
— girlwonder the gabagooligan (@Girl_wonderX) December 12, 2021
And in the case of Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth’s characters, they all show men in a position of senior managerial power, all of whom woo their subordinates in the name of love.
As one Twitter user writes: “[Love Actually] is a really sexist film but most of you aren’t ready to accept that yet.”
A second adds: “I watched Love Actually and completely ruined my Netflix recommendations with that sexist dog diarrhoea.”
LOVE ACTUALLY is sexist trash. That’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/Nqr7SnUUD3
— Eric Peterson 🐶❤️🍸 (@RedSevenEric) December 16, 2021
Love, Actually is an absolutely bizarre movie. It’s incredibly entertaining while also being completely reprehensible, sexist, and anti-relationship.
I mean…how does one achieve that? It’s remarkable.
— Dominic Biondi (@DominicABiondi) December 16, 2021
But despite many people accepting that the movie is “problematic”, it appears as if some fans just can’t help but rewatch this Christmas classic:
How does Emma tear us apart every goddamn year in that bedroom? Has such a personal scene ever played so perfectly in the wide?
— Guy Branum (@guybranum) December 21, 2021
— Alice Montague (@avmontague) December 22, 2021
Watched a bit of #LoveActually because Christmas and was reminded of the greatest film critique ever written in case you didn't realise how riddled with holes and problematic content this movie is. Hugh Grant for PM though. https://t.co/WZuJybseXG
— Jenny Hicken 💙 (@GreatNorthMum) December 21, 2021
After years of struggling with the problematic aspects of #LoveActually, we watched it tonight with unadulterated joy again. Suck it, haters.
— Stephanie Thompson (@Stefaniya) December 21, 2021
Again, these aren’t my personal thoughts on the movie – just what people have pointed out. I’ll still continue to watch Love Actually every year because Bill Nighy is hilarious and I need to distract my family from the fact I’ve bought them a spiralizer for the fourth year in a row.
Featured image credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy