These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Love Actually
Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Harry and Karen separate at the end of the movie or decide to brave on? And we never find out how far Harry went with his secretary. As Karen points out, she doesn't know if it "was it just a necklace, or sex and a necklace, or, worse of all, love and a necklace?"
Karl. He's supposed to be this really nice guy, but he treats Sarah more like a one-night-stand than anything else.
Arguably, this applies to every single relationship in the movie. Since Mark is still in love with Juliet, it's possible that his friendship with Peter will deteriorate. Jamie and Aurelia barely know each other - a marriage that's very likely to fail. Ditto for John and Judy. David and Natalie are from very different backgrounds and it could be that their relationship won't last because of his job.
In the original screenplay, Rowan Atkinson's character was a kind of 'Christmas angel' who dropped in. Since most of his scenes were cut, in the actual movie it seems more like he is just a random Troll who comes out of nowhere and aids the cause of love by tricking people because it's fun.
Awesome Music: There are three main love themes in the movie, all of which are great:
And the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (for My Love)" is perfect for the Prime Minister's moment of glory.
Olivia Olson's performace of "All I Want For Christmas Is You." And she could actually sing it even better, except that Richard Curtis worried that people would assume she was dubbed so he instructed her to insert breath pauses she didn't really need.
Harsher in Hindsight: Liam Neeson plays a man whose wife has recently died. His performance at the funeral especially is very hard to watch after Natasha Richardson's death, especially since they didn't have "a long time to prepare for this moment."
The Prime Minister's first name is David and he is implied to be Tory - and the film was released well before anyone could have realised David Cameron would become the next Tory PM.
Mark's card message includes a picture of a mummified corpse. Andrew Lincoln is now the lead star of The Walking Dead. Also, try watching the aforementioned TV series' first two seasons while remembering how Mark loves his best friend's wife.
Hollywood Homely / Hollywood Pudgy: Natalie is constantly ragged on (pretty much by everyone but David) for being a fat cow. She clearly isn't. David acts just as puzzled and annoyed by this fallacy as the audience does. Interestingly several years before the film was made, the British media was obsessed with Martine McCutcheon's weight. There was a considerable public backlash against certain aspects of UK media claiming she was fat. This storyline feels like a huge Take That parody of that event and the media attitudes surrounding it.
Ho Yay: Billy and Joe. Their storyline represents platonic love between friends, but naturally people like to read more into it. Especially since the film (outside deleted scenes) doesn't include any explicitly homosexual characters.
Magnificent Bastard: Billy Mack never says a positive word about anyone or anything, cynical even about himself. This attitude fuels his comeback.
The Scrappy: Mia. Not only is she a Flat Character, but she casually mentions in a deleted scene, "I'm thinking of having an affair with my boss." with apparently no thought to how it will hurt him as his family. It's especially callous when you see the scene with Karen sobbing quietly in the bedroom after she's discovered Harry's infidelity. And what's even worse? She's sobbing quietly so the kids won't hear her.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "'True love' and 'happily ever after' are possible, but you need to take charge of your own life to achieve it." All three characters with bittersweet endings could be argued as taking the easy way out — or doing nothing at all — to be with their beloved. In Sarah's case, the message seems to be that duty to one's family is more important than romance. Or that love of family can be just as or more important than romantic love.
Tear Jerker: The scene where Juliet watches Mark's wedding video to find that he's only filmed her. He manages to stay in composure until he leaves the house. Her face when she suddenly understands why Mark is so cold to her is so heartbreaking.
As is seeing that the situation has Mark in almost physical pain
Karen opening the present and realising Harry has given the gold necklace to somebody else. Then her in her room listening to Joni Mitchell while tearfully looking around at pictures of her family.
And the fact she's trying so hard to hide it from the kids and forces herself to put on a cheerful face so they don't have to watch their mother break down... it's hard to watch.
Then the scene where she confronts her husband and he almost breaks down as he realizes what an ass he's been and how he nearly threw his life away.
Daniel struggling to keep his composure while talking about his wife at her funeral, even more now that Liam Neeson really did lose his wife, and to a random accident that didn't give them any time to prepare.
Toy Ship: Sam and Joanna. Not too bad, because they're about eleven.
Given what Sam does to actually make this canon. (His dad drives him to the airport, he uses a distraction to sneak past the boarding gate, jumps over a guard through a metal detector, gets chased to the boarding gates, uses another distraction to get through the final check, and THEN speaks to her before getting carted away), he probably earned it. And the small kiss he receives after makes it all the sweeter.
As for the rest of the film — which is to say, the bulk of the film — I think it offers up at least three disturbing lessons about love. First, that love is overwhelmingly a product of physical attraction and requires virtually no verbal communication or intellectual/emotional affinity of any kind. Second, that the principal barrier to consummating a relationship is mustering the nerve to say “I love you” — preferably with some grand gesture — and that once you manage that, you’re basically on the fast track to nuptial bliss. And third, that any actual obstacle to romantic fulfillment, however surmountable, is not worth the effort it would require to overcome.