There’s a Lot to Learn From ‘Love, Actually’

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About Harris O'Malley

Harris O'Malley provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove, as well as writing the occasional guest review for and appearing on the podcast The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen. He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and Twitter (@DrNerdLove.)

Dr. NerdLove is not really a doctor.


  1. An article promoting this film as sound dating or relationship advice is not worthy of featuring on this site.

    #the prime minister romance storyline is ridiculous.
    # Colin Firth proposes to a woman he barely knows and could have easily embarrassed her in front of her family and friends.
    #the best friend/wedding video guy that is obsessed with Keira Knightly is borderline stalker. Furthermore, expressing his feelings in such a grand gesture way is bound to lead to much awkwardness in the future and he clearly doesn’t care too much about his best friend as he basically places a bomb under his marriage.
    # the little kid storyline teaches us that men have to overachieve in ordert o have a shot with women. Overachieving is good, but not if the goal is so absurd.
    #Trying to promote something that is clearly unworthy to see the light of day, such as the Christmas song, is in no way commendable.

    These are only thd storylines I remember from the movie. It is fun to watch but its contents should under no condition be taken seriously.

  2. Sorry, but romantic comedies are a BAD source of relationship advice. That’s the last source you want to consider.

  3. All I can say is that there was some fine acting – mainly Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, but Emma does shine.

  4. romantic comedy and dr nerd love article, two worst source for learning about love

  5. I LOVE this movie. I unashamedly admit it. :)

    But I’m old and wise enough, to acknowledge it’s mostly unrealistic (mostly but not 100%).
    Nevertheless, it’s fun and entertaining, and it makes your heart swollen, warm and fuzzy! :D
    It makes you feel good, and positive and hopeful… (unless you’re too cynical sbout realtionships).

    True, you cannot get it literally as “dating advice”, but most of what Dr. Nerdlove said is true; at least, you can get inspiration from it. Sure, love doesn’t conquer all, but if you put your very best into it, it might be worth it.
    Way better than gazing at your navel and whine over your misfortune, isn’t it? ;)

    The only story in it that I dislike is the Colin’s one (the guy going to America): is totally unbelievable, kind of porn-movie-unbelievable. ;)
    All the rest… some of it might be unlikely, but still possible. Not less likely than most movies anyway.

    And, do not forget the “Love” the movie is talking about, is love in its widest sense; not just the romantic one (although the movie focus mostly on it, obviously).
    The message of the movie lies in its opening and closing scenes, shot at airports; where you can see that, if your eyes are open enough, love is actually all around you. :)

    In this new Millennium, with all the drama and uncertainty and troubles, I can hardly see anything more positive and life-inspiring.

  6. Last sentence:
    The most important message of the film is that nobody gets the love they want for free. It’s only when they are willing to put in the effort – sometimes even in the face of incredibly daunting odds – that they are rewarded. Love isn’t simple. Love isn’t easy. Love doesn’t come easily, it doesn’t come without pain and it doesn’t come with out work.

    But in the end it’s worth it.

    Except that sometimes it’s not worth it, as pointed out just above Love Doesn’t Mean That It Will All Work Out.

  7. warm, fuzzy, feel good, vague, good for nothing advice.

    Good movie though.

  8. I enjoyed the movie. The one interesting insight I might have (if I am lucky) had to do with this part of the storyline:

    Communication Is More Than Words

    What struck me as sappy was that these two people who can’t communicate find this attraction to each other and were basically communicating the same things to each other, even though neither could understand what the other was saying (that is: the dialogue shows that they were thinking the same things and their dialogue would actually make sense as a converation if they understood what the other was saying).

    But, then it struck me: they seemed to be the two people who were communicating most honestly with each other, and they only felt the freedom to do that because they knew the other person could not understand what was being said.


  9. Colin RENTED out his apartment to pay for his ticket to America. My fav movie. In a review the facts have to be there, otherwise how can anyone trust your analysis which is actually severely simplistic and hallmark commercially superficial. Passing off Sarah’s mentally ill brother as a ‘complication’ is completely against the entire premise of the film, even though it is one of Karl’s lines, the viewer sees beyond that into the burden Sarah bears alone and that achieving a relationship of reciprocal love on any level is entirely circumstantial. Humanity, love and pain at once, and the flaws that we all try to live with whilst living with each other. The different forms of love. And that for some there isn’t nor will ever be a happy ending. Had to share- been analyzing this film every Christmas for a decade.

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