Love, Actually

loveactuallyThis isn’t really a post about love, actually. Or maybe it is. But it’s the movie that’s inspired me tonight. (It’s one of my new favorite Christmas movies. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. Now. You’ll be glad you did.)

I watched it again tonight for the 560th time. Each time, I notice something different. Tonight, I noticed how the actors convey such a wide range of emotions through their expressions, without having to utter a word. (No wonder they get paid the big bucks.) My friend noticed how women can be so strong, holding themselves together through times of sorrow and crisis, pretending everything is okay until they find the right time to fall apart. (We decided that men handle it much better, reacting on the spot instead of keeping all of that emotion bottled up inside, which just can’t be healthy.)

But most of all, I noticed communication – or the lack of it.

In one scene, a man is in love with his best friend’s wife, but no one knows. She finally realizes it when she watches his video of their wedding, and discovers that the entire tape is of her – only her. On Christmas Eve, he comes to their door and, through a series of statements written on flash cards, finally tells her, with no hope or agenda, how he feels about her “because at Christmas, you tell the truth.”

In another scene, a vacationing writer and his housekeeper fall in love. But they don’t speak a common language, so neither actually knows how the other feels. They have long conversations, speaking openly and honestly about their feelings, although neither understands a word the other is saying.

It makes me wonder how their story would have gone if they spoke the same language. Would they have been so open and honest if they could understand what they were saying? If the guy in Scene #1 told the girl how he felt in the first place, would she still have married his friend?

Why is it so hard to be honest with people we care about? I’m not saying we lie to those we love; instead, maybe we just put off telling them. Or think they know. Or think they wouldn’t care. Or think they would hate us/run away if they really knew what was in our hearts.

Then again, maybe that’s just me.

On this day, when so many people are still reeling from the horrific events in CT, I’m reminded yet again how important it is to make sure people know how we feel about them. Because there are no guarantees. We might not have another chance to say, “I love you,” or “You’re special to me.” Even if we have to say it in another language. Or write it on flash cards. Or mow it into a field. Whatever it takes to get the message across.

Who knows how our stories would end, if we truly knew what was in each other’s hearts?

Anyway, most of the relationships in the movie turn out okay (it IS a romantic comedy, after all). You’ll have to watch it, however, to find out what happens to these folks.

Now, excuse me while I search for those flash cards. Because it IS Christmas. And at Christmas, you tell the truth.

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9 Responses to Love, Actually

  1. LH says:

    Well, LA is also one of my faves, I own it, watch it several times a year; we watched it last week. Big surprise there, that you and I like the same movie? Yea….right. I love how you look at the film, and I can also tell you that what I come away with is that you always feel better for having finally SAID what you mean, making the other(s) understand in your own way. Even if it does not turn out perfectly or how you wanted or how you planned it would, you feel BETTER, probably for finally having said whatever it is. I always wish I could go back to seeing it for the first time, to never having seen it before, to the point when you finally realize how everyone is tied together, that love and the expressions of are the common thread, mostly the errors that come from NOT expressing it and the resolution that comes WITH expressing it, and how, gosh darn it, I wish I would have paid closer attention at the beginning! Great flick, great message, great feel-good/do-better movie. Personally, I hope I never get it right, the love and the comedy of errors that goes along with it. My ADD would make me run so fast, probably in the wrong direction…

    Happy Holidays, Dear Friend.
    Love you!
    XOXO

    • Beth says:

      I love your wise view of the movie, as well as the lessons learned, LH. Sounds like you understood the meaning behind it long before I did. 🙂 Hopefully I HAVE learned that lesson, and will apply it because I don’t like the feeling of NOT saying it, and walking around carrying this burden of “If only.”

      We need one of those pens from Men In Black that erases memories – for many reasons.

      Happiest of holidays with your loved ones, Lori. I miss you! xoxo

  2. Yvonne says:

    This movie is also one of my all time favorites. I watched it in December 2006 several times and knew that even though the one I loved was gone, he always knew, every day, how much I loved him. Love this post and love you!

  3. Beth says:

    Love you back! You’re my hero. And continue to be the wisest person I know. 🙂 Wish I were nearly as smart and brave as you. xoxo

  4. Love that movie. It’s one of Laura and my favorites.

  5. Ah the season of Christmas movies and books and reconnecting with friends–hi Beth! I’ve heard great things about Love, Actually, I will have to check it out. I know I’ve vanished for–ahem–awhile and may vanish into writing again as I’ve had two novels published by two different publishers this year and must finish SOON the next in each series–be careful what you wish for.

    But I always enjoy your posts and will try to stay in better touch. Also hope to see you in this part of the country sometime?

    And speaking of Christmas stories, my “A Rice Crispy Christmas” romance short story was just published by one of my publishers and is available now as an e-book. Okay, I just had to mention it!

    • Beth says:

      Congratulations on all of your success this year, Conda! I’ve watched from afar. I’m so excited for you! The best kind of busy, huh? No clue when I’ll be back in the NW, but hopefully sooner than later. I’ll certainly let you know – come thaw out down here at the beach! Merry Christmas!

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