So, it is the weekend after Christmas & I have to admit it…I have major Christmas let-down. Not that my Christmas wasn’t lovely (even though we had no family in town we were invited to friends’ for both Christmas Eve & Christmas Day). Not that I didn’t get nice presents (thank you hubby & "Ann Taylor" for the lovely clothes). Not that I didn’t enjoy every exuberant moment of my 3-year old discovering the magic of Christmas (asking for a jingle bell from Santa just like the little boy in The Polar Express). You see, I get Christmas let-down every year. And every year I have wonderful Christmases. But on Dec. 26, I always feel the same. A little bit of "that’s it?" wrapped up with a great, big "oh no, don’t go yet!!" Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure if I can ever change it. I am a Christmas baby. Dec 22 to be exact. The lead up to "Christmas" starts the day after American Thanksgiving for me. I try (some years in vain) to put the tree up, crack open White Christmas (the perfect start to every Christmas movie season) & I flutter around (don’t laugh) Christmas-ing up my house (read: life) while my hubby basically "Bah humbugs" under his breath. Then, there’s cookie baking, endless Christmas-movie/special watching, Christmas shopping, a few parties or get-togethers (I actually had a gift-wrapping party this year & it was fantastic), using Santa as the greatest discipline trick, & so on, & so on. It all leads up to that wonderful 3 days between my birthday & Christmas, & then…it just ends & I have 362 more days (or, gasp, 363 in a leap year) to trudge through until those 3 wonderful days arrive again. So, what’s a girl to do to make the "season" last just a little longer without driving my hubby into a White Christmas/Scrooged/Polar Express/Christmas Vacation-induced coma?
Well how about a Christmas movie, but not a Christmas movie. I’m not quite sure if I can explain the distinction. Maybe it is that one is about Christmas, the other uses Christmas as a backdrop. A set piece, if you may, but not the whole set. So, I began perusing our DVD collection & what did I stumble upon, but Love Actually.
If you haven’t seen this movie, rush right out & rent it now. It is a classic romantic comedy wrapped up in a great big Christmas bow. It has eight separate story lines, interwoven such that in the end all of our characters arrive in the same "place."
Funny story about this movie. I went to see it with my Mom while she was visiting during one of our many moves. My hubby was already working in Ohio & in his true
cheap smart fashion he was living with his grandparents until I arrived. So, one Friday evening my hubby decides to take his grandparents out to a movie as a little thank-you for putting him up at their house. It was between Pirates of the Caribbean & Love Actually & since he knew my Mom & I enjoyed Love Actually he suggested that. Flash forward to our conversation the next day.
Hubby: We went to see a movie last night.
Me: Oh ya, what did you see?
Hubby: Love Actually.
Me: NO! NO! NO! You didn’t!?!
Hubby: You said it was cute!
Me: I never said "cute". I said it was "good", not "cute"….what did they say?
Hubby: Well Grandma wanted to walk out & Grandpa thought it was quite enjoyable.
Let’s just say that besides the fact that the f-bomb is dropped about 100 times in the movie, one whole storyline involves the stand-ins used to light/block a scene, during the filming of a movie, when the actors themselves don’t necessarily want to be "exposed" that long. Okay…I’ll say just a little more. The two characters are in various stages of undress & are (frankly, quite comically) acting out different, well, "acts". All the while they are talking about the weather or traffic or something else as innocuous. Basically the recipe for Grandma wanting to walk out & Grandpa having a good chuckle (either at the movie or at the fact that Grandma wanted to walk out, not quite sure which).
What gets me every time (I pretty much cry in the first 2 minutes) is that the movie opens with footage of random people connecting with their loved ones at an airport arrivals area with a voice-over saying that whenever he is feeling down he goes to the arrivals level at Heathrow Airport & it helps him to see that "Love is, actually, all around…" (wipe tear as I write this). I have spent my entire adulthood being the one arriving or picking up someone from an airport, & there is something so real & honest about the emotion of seeing your "person" on the other side of that door. Go check out the movie & I challenge you to finish up with a dry eye. If that’s not enough for you how about this: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Kiera Knightly, Billy Nighy, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Rodrigo Santoro, Billy-Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, Denise Richards (my hubby made me put her in) & Claudia Schiffer. If you check there is even a kitchen sink. So what are you waiting for?!? Go, watch, & enjoy. And maybe, just maybe, you too can let the Christmas season last just a little bit longer. Happy Holidays.
As a little footnote, whenever my hubby & I see movies separately now we always ask "Is it something we could take the grandparents to?!?"