The Christmas classic has come under scrutiny due to a lack of miscellaneous storylines, with two remaining on the cutting room floor and another couple scrapped in the development stage.
Love Actually may be one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, but it’s come under criticism for its plots.
The 2013 romantic comedy features a slew of intertwining stories that left viewers in tears of sadness, joy, and laughter.
With an all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, the film was a box office hit and has become a modern-day Christmas staple.
However, the film has come under scrutiny because all of the relationships, which range from platonic friendships to outrageous love triangles, only include heterosexual couples.
Along with being criticized for its lack of LGBTQ+ stories, others pointed out that the cast was predominantly white.
Things could have been very different had four miscellaneous storylines cut from the Christmas-themed film been left in the theatrical release.
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Two were filmed but were left on the cutting room floor and another couple were abandoned during development.
An incredibly moving plot that was left out of the final film involved a director and her terminally ill partner.
The pair were tied into the larger story by the subplot involving Emma Thompson’s character, Karen, whose son was a student at the headmistress’s school.
The stern lead was played by former Coronation Street star Anne Reid, while her partner was Harry Potter actress Frances de la Tour.
The director returns from work to take care of her visibly ill partner, Geraldine, and tells her about her day.
Although she is very weak, it is clear that Geraldine is full of spirit despite her illness and the couple’s bond is heartwarming.
The pair only share two short scenes together, the second featuring Geraldine coughing in bed and being comforted by the director.
Viewers were supposed to be treated to a scene in which the duo bicker over their different tastes in fancy sausages and display a wicked sense of humor.
Then they snuggle up for the night in their bed and we see Geraldine coughing violently in her sleep.
In the next scene, it becomes clear that the worst has happened and Geraldine is sadly dead.
Emma Thompson’s character then gives a moving speech about the devastating loss of the headmistress.
Director Richard Curtis hated having to lose the heartbreaking scenes but explained that they had to be deleted.
The whole story was scrapped because an earlier scene about Karen’s son was cut, so none of it would have made sense in the intertwined movie.
Speaking about the scenes from the DVD bonus sequence, Curtis confessed, “I was so sorry to lose that.
“The idea was supposed to be that he was casually meeting this stern director, and the idea was supposed to be that later in the movie, we suddenly fell out with the director, and you realize that no matter how it seems unlikely, that any character you meet in life has their own complicated love story.”
Another story that was filmed but did not appear in the film centered on two mothers in Kenya.
In an effort to show that “love is really everywhere”, Curtis and his team even shot scenes in Kenya that were never used.
Both mothers disapproved of their daughters’ betrothed but supported each other during the famine.
The two storylines that failed to make it out of development were a schoolgirl who fell in love with her friend and a girl in a wheelchair trying to find love.
Another storyline featured two mothers in Kenya who disapproved of their daughters’ fiancées, Richard told Empire, but it ended up on the cutting room floor.
“There was a big story about a schoolgirl who fell in love with another schoolgirl,” Curtis told Empire.
“And then we zoomed in on a photo at Laura Linney’s charity and it turned out that these two Kenyan women were talking about the fact that they didn’t like their daughters’ fiancés. There was a lot of slaughterers.”
Curtis also shared details about the scene he planned to start the film with, which was later used in another film by another director 10 years later.
“The film originally started with a conversation between some guys in a bar. Oddly enough, I think it was a joke that Judd [Apatow] then written into a movie ten years later,” he explained.
“So this guy was talking about how he was fantasizing a lot about his wife dying, because he thought there would be a lot of women in pretty black dresses at the funeral.
“Some of them would give him their phone number and say, ‘I know it’s going to be tough for you. It doesn’t have to be deep.
“I was like, ‘Well, there’s a track. What comes second?’ Slowly build that wave.”
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