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Trivia / Love Actually

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  • Ability over Appearance: In a sense. Sarah was written to be British like the rest of the cast. They looked at hundreds of potential actresses but Richard Curtis kept saying "I want someone like Laura Linney". Eventually the casting director snapped and said "For fuck's sake, get Laura Linney then" - and she got the part immediately. The character was then rewritten to be an American that moved to Britain.
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  • Actor Existence Failure: The Red Nose Day sequel was made a year after Alan Rickman's death. This also caused Emma Thompson to decline to participate, not wanting to do it without him.
  • All-Star Cast: Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson and many more less internationally famous but who are very well known in Britain. Probably even more star-studded today following the respective breakouts of Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman, and Andrew Lincoln after the film's release. Even the then-child actors in the Puppy Love pairing, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olsen, are actors and voice actors of some renown.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Kris Marshall returned his paycheck for the scene in which the three American girls undress Colin. He said he had such a good time having three women undress him for twenty one takes, he'd do it for free.
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  • Billing Displacement: Being an big ensemble film, inevitably some actors were going to get displaced but even so the film poster has a few good examples of this; Keira Knightley is pictured and billed but Andrew Lincoln (who shared all her scenes) isn't and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (who had more screentime than either) doesn't appear either. Kris Marshall and Lúcia Moniz are likewise absent despite starring in their own subplots while One-Scene Wonder Rowan Atkinson gets listed.
  • Blooper: When David (Grant) is meeting Natalie for the first time, during the continuous shot of David going into Downing Street and then meeting the people from a distance he is wearing one tie. When they do the close-ups of David's conversation he has a different colored tie on. Word of God says Hugh Grant did that on purpose just to amuse himself.
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  • California Doubling: Milwaukee, WI, shows up in a brief scene, and everything from the airport sign to the bar looks like it was shot in California. The only thing that looks right is the shot of the house at the end of the scene.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • In Russian-language markets the film's title is "Realnaya lyubov" (''Real Love').
    • In the Czech Republic, the movie went by the name "Heavenly Love" (a saying expressing "The greatest love possible").
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Richard Curtis has said in a 2014 interview that the editing process of the film was a "catastrophe" and that it was Christmas Rushed.
    • Hugh Grant hated the dancing scene, because he didn't think a Prime Minister would do something like that.
  • Creator's Pest: Andrew Lincoln has turned hard on Mark, outright calling him a stalker.
  • The Danza: Bill Nighy playing Billy Mack.
  • Deleted Role: Most of Edward Hardwicke's role was removed from the final print.
  • Deleted Scene: Two additional scenarios were shot but were cut from the final version, with one involving the children's headmistress (played by Anne Reid) and her dying lesbian partner (played by Frances de la Tour).
  • Follow the Leader: Started a whole genre of romantic comedies with a big cast and overlapping stories (He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day, What to Expect When You're Expecting, New Year's Eve, Crazy Stupid Love).
  • Hire the Critic: The DJ is played by a comedian who criticized Richard Curtis's earlier outing Notting Hill for Monochrome Casting (the real-life Notting Hill neighborhood has a significant black population).
  • Looping Lines: The scene where Aurelia removes the cup holding down a portion of the book Jamie is working on had to be redubbed due to the noise of the large fan sitting off camera.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Played with. It is Olivia Olson singing "All I Want For Christmas". But her singing was so good, they edited it in post production because they didn't think viewers would believe it was a child actually singing.
  • Playing Against Type: Alan Rickman especially. He usually plays villains or dour stodgy characters. Here he plays a Bumbling Dad.
  • Playing Gertrude: Minor example. David is Karen's older brother. Emma Thompson is a year older than Hugh Grant.
  • Real-Life Relative: Thomas Brodie-Sangster is a second cousin to Hugh Grant. Richard Curtis was unaware of this until after they'd been cast.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Colin's introduction scene was originally scripted for Four Weddings and a Funeral but cut from that and used here.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • "Who's Bill Nighy? Is he famous in England or something?" Yes, a little, but this was the film that elevated him to national treasure status.
    • Averted by Martine McCutcheon, a former-soap-star-turned-singer, who was given major billing and was about as well-received as the rest of the film. For some reason this didn't launch her onto any other roles.
  • Throw It In!: The hat that Juliet wears in the scene with the wedding video? Keira Knightley turned up on set with a giant pimple on her forehead, and they had to cover it.
  • Underage Casting: As was tradition with Keira Knightley during this point in time. She was eighteen when the movie came out.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film is easy to date to the early 2000s. Primarily, Billy Mack's entire storyline is based around releasing a track and getting to the top of the Christmas Top 40 music charts (a very big deal in the British music business). The problem is that the next year, The X Factor started and between 2005 and 2008note , the winners of that show has always gotten the UK Number One. Also, it's from when Ant and Dec were still working on children's television. Billy Mack's rival for Christmas Number One is Boy Band Blue who took a hiatus not long after this film. The American president is also a No Celebrities Were Harmed composite of Bill Clinton and George W Bush. Additionally, the reference to the September 11th terrorist attacks in the opening narration seems more and more jarring as time goes on, especially to non-Brits who aren't familiar with the pop cultural references in the Billy Mack storyline.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Rowan Atkinson's character was originally going to appear in every single story (rather than just being a One-Scene Wonder) with the strong implication that he was an angel. This is hinted in the airport scene where Atkinson's character gives Daniel a knowing glance after he "accidentally" allows Sam to get through airport security, and how he just sort of shows up at the counter in the jewelry store after the previous attendant walks off with a customer. Sort of the Christmassy equivalent to Sam from Trick 'r Treat.
    • Simon Pegg also auditioned for that part.
    • Sam was going to be a skilled gymnast, which would aid in his run through the airport. Ultimately Curtis couldn't figure out how to work it naturally into the story.
    • 14 scenarios were written for the film, with two scrapped before filming and two scrapped after filming ended.
    • It was not originally conceived as a Christmas film and in fact was originally written as two films with expanded versions of what would be two of the characters' storylines in the finished film.
  • Word of God: A dozen years later, Emma Freud, script writer, confirmed that Harry and Mia did have an affair and that Harry and Karen were still together at the end of the film, albeit with a strained relationship.
  • Working Title: Love Actually is All Around.


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