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28th November 2023

Love Actually’s 20th anniversary: A classic film still capturing the world’s hearts

Twenty years from its initial release and Hugh Grant’s sneaky feeling still stands as Love Actually is still all around
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Love Actually’s 20th anniversary: A classic film still capturing the world’s hearts
Credit: LOVE ACTUALLY @ Universal Pictures

The iconic film Love Actually recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, marking two decades since its release in 2003. The film, known for its intertwining love stories and heart-warming moments, continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, and has become “a staple of the British DVD cupboard.” As the milestone is reached, it’s time to reflect on the enduring legacy of this beloved romantic classic.

Love Actually debuted in 2003 as a holiday-themed romantic comedy helmed by Richard Curtis. It featured an ensemble cast of Hollywood stars including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Liam Neeson.

The film was well-received by viewers all around the world despite receiving mixed reviews from critics when it was first released. Part of its original appeal was its distinctive narrative structure, which intertwines several stories of love set against the backdrop of the holidays.

Despite the critical divide, Love Actually swiftly climbed the box office ranks, securing a prominent place among holiday favourites. Its ability to blend humour, heart, and poignant moments resonated strongly with audiences, propelling it to commercial success. The rom-com grossed a massive £247 million at the global box office when it was first released in 2003.

The iconic film has become a staple of the holiday movie line-up. Its setting during the Christmas season, coupled with themes of love and togetherness, has made it a seasonal favourite. Many audiences have made it a tradition to rewatch the film during the festive period, contributing to its lasting presence in cultural conversations.

Its enduring legacy as a seasonal must-watch isn’t just a testament to its initial success but a reflection of its ability to capture the essence of the holiday; the warmth, the joy, and the celebration of love in its various forms. As Love Actually continues to enchant audiences, its place as a cherished part of holiday traditions remains unwavering, enriching the festive season with its timeless charm year after year.

Love Actually has sustained its relevance in pop culture through its iconic scenes and memorable characters, creating lasting impressions. From Hugh Grant’s dance sequence to Andrew Lincoln’s cue card declaration, these moments have become ingrained in pop culture, often referenced and parodied in various media. Memes, gifs, and quotable lines from the movie are frequently shared, keeping it alive in contemporary digital culture. Its availability on streaming platforms has also introduced the film to younger audiences, ensuring its continued relevance.

We can also see the iconic film’s enduring significance in Manchester, with New Century, a well-known food court, branding one of their holiday beverages Love Actually in 2022.

The film will be re-released in UK theatres this winter to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Other European nations, Korea, China, the United States, and Canada are following suit in December. This widespread rollout not only honours Love Actually‘s significant milestone but also invites fans worldwide to immerse themselves once again in its timeless tales of love, making this commemorative re-release a global celebration of enduring romance and cherished storytelling.

Love Actually will be re-released in cinemas on November 24, 2023.

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