Another Think Piece About Love Actually by a Bitter White Girl Written From the Safe Distance of the Future

BY FAN RAMBLES

This is how I can tell I’ve grown up. I mean, I paid my dentist bill without having to borrow money from my parents, but I’m not here to brag.

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11 JAN - 2019

I was recently watching Love Actually, that delightfully British Christmas movie that gets ripped to shreds in internet think-pieces every December.

I’m well aware that I am contributing to the furore by adding another petrol-soaked bag of unnecessary opinions to that raging dumpster fire, but I’m a bitter woman with a laptop and I can’t help myself.

And yes, I realise that it is now January and this think piece is not only a tired cliche, but an unseasonal one at that. I make no apologies for that. I don't need the loneliness of an impending holiday to spark the raging fire of argumentative contempt in my haggish, not-in-a-long-term-relationship heart, I am quite capable of being bitter all year round, thank you very much.

Now, that being said, it's important to point out that I bloody love Love Actually. I think its sexist flaws, just like Keira Knightley’s wardrobe, is a nod to the ways of the past which we – a fashionable and woke audience – can relish in from the comfort of the social norms of the future. I’m always going to get swept up in the joy, nostalgia and extremely dated soundtrack of the Christmas rom com.

Each time I watch it, it’s the Sarah and Karl storyline that gets me the most. You know how it goes - they both fancy each other but are too timid to do anything about it. Sarah is responsible for her unwell brother, whose condition means he lives in an institution of some sort. Karl has... glasses? I'm not sure about his backstory, but considering it was not shown to us in the movie, I'm assuming it's incredibly bland. They hook up, but the brother’s calls interrupt the sexy times and the flame of love is forever extinguished. A classic tale of ill-fated romance, awkward office Christmas party dance moves and crushing reality.

It hits me right in the feel factory.

But this year I wasn’t left asking why they didn’t end up together. And I wasn't hoping they’d make out at a New Year’s Eve party. Because I finally realised they really shouldn’t be a couple. You want to know why Sarah and Karl didn’t end up together? It wasn’t because the timing just didn’t work out for them. It was because, after just one date, Karl was already asking Sarah to choose him over her family. He called her mentally-ill brother a “complication”. He didn’t ask any follow up questions about him. He never even tried to get to know her.

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Single Sarah

Sure, taking a phone call during foreplay isn’t great manners, but it’s not like she was just yabbering on with a mate. The phone call provided Karl with the perfect opportunity to pour two glasses of wine and talk with Sarah, to really connect with her. And it’s not like sex would have been off the table, because we all know that connecting emotionally often leads to physical connections, especially when wine is involved.

But he did not seize this opportunity to find out more about the woman he apparently had been pining over for years. He was just like “right, cool, whatevs, let me stick my dick in you now.” And when they were the only two left in the office at the end of the movie, Karl could have redeemed himself instead of just saying “goodnight”. There were so many other options for how he could have fixed the situation, like: “How is your brother?” “How are you coping with the fact that your parents are gone and you’re now caring for your brother without any family support?” “I’m sorry my boner got in the way of treating you like a human being the other night, would you like to have a Christmas drink with me, even if it’s only as friends?” “I realise that I was quite selfish and sulky when you decided to go to the aid of your severely ill brother rather than make sex to me. I can’t believe how immature I am – can you ever forgive me?” But no, he just gave her a sulky “goodnight” and pissed off.

What is sad here is not that they didn’t end up together, but after all the pining Sarah had been doing over Karl, he just wasn’t the man she’d built him up to be. I mean, she could have just said “yeah nah, look after yerself mate” to her brother and settled for a good looking bloke who never really tried to understand her because she was a single woman in her 30s and it was Christmas time. But she decided to remain single instead. Good fucking on you, Sarah.

PS. Even though not ending up with an uncaring brat sack of a man is perfectly satisfactory conclusion, the story doesn't end with Single Sarah. No. While doing a bit of research into this rant/dicking around on the internet instead of being productive, I came across the Love Actually sequel. It was made in 2017 for Red Nose Day and gave us a glimpse of the character's futures. And it turns out that Sarah didn't end up with Karl. Nah mate, Sarah didn't just emotionally starfish and succumb to a mediocre, convenient union with what she perceived to be her only prospect. She was married to an attentive, well-dressed Patrick Dempsey. Our girl held out and then ended up with Mc-bloody-Dreamy. I didn't set out to write a single gal's parable, but there is an undeniable moral to this story: good things come to those who don't lower themselves to emotionally-stunted dick nuggets.

“I’m sorry my boner got in the way of treating you like a human being the other night, would you like to have a Christmas drink with me, even if it’s only as friends?”

Sure, taking a phone call during foreplay isn’t great manners, but it’s not like she was just yabbering on with a mate. The phone call provided Karl with the perfect opportunity to pour two glasses of wine and talk with Sarah, to really connect with her. And it’s not like sex would have been off the table, because we all know that connecting emotionally often leads to physical connections, especially when wine is involved.

But he did not seize this opportunity to find out more about the woman he apparently had been pining over for years. He was just like “right, cool, whatevs, let me stick my dick in you now.” And when they were the only two left in the office at the end of the movie, Karl could have redeemed himself instead of just saying “goodnight”. There were so many other options for how he could have fixed the situation, like: “How is your brother?” “How are you coping with the fact that your parents are gone and you’re now caring for your brother without any family support?” “I’m sorry my boner got in the way of treating you like a human being the other night, would you like to have a Christmas drink with me, even if it’s only as friends?” “I realise that I was quite selfish and sulky when you decided to go to the aid of your severely ill brother rather than make sex to me. I can’t believe how immature I am – can you ever forgive me?” But no, he just gave her a sulky “goodnight” and pissed off.

What is sad here is not that they didn’t end up together, but after all the pining Sarah had been doing over Karl, he just wasn’t the man she’d built him up to be. I mean, she could have just said “yeah nah, look after yerself mate” to her brother and settled for a good looking bloke who never really tried to understand her because she was a single woman in her 30s and it was Christmas time. But she decided to remain single instead. Good fucking on you, Sarah.

PS. Even though not ending up with an uncaring brat sack of a man is perfectly satisfactory conclusion, the story doesn't end with Single Sarah. No. While doing a bit of research into this rant/dicking around on the internet instead of being productive, I came across the Love Actually sequel. It was made in 2017 for Red Nose Day and gave us a glimpse of the character's futures. And it turns out that Sarah didn't end up with Karl. Nah mate, Sarah didn't just emotionally starfish and succumb to a mediocre, convenient union with what she perceived to be her only prospect. She was married to an attentive, well-dressed Patrick Dempsey. Our girl held out and then ended up with Mc-bloody-Dreamy. I didn't set out to write a single gal's parable, but there is an undeniable moral to this story: good things come to those who don't lower themselves to emotionally-stunted dick nuggets.

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