Ten years ago, just in time for the holiday season, Love Actually opened in wide release. It didn’t make much of an impression at first: It came in sixth at the box office, right behind Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Adoration of it grew slowly with repeated home viewings, especially in the Christmas season, when multiple romantic plots paired with holiday spirit and a cozy couch makes for an irresistible combination. As it should! Love Actually has no place on the big screen, and you’re kidding yourself if you prefer a cinematic experience over one covered in blankets, munching on disgusting holiday-flavored popcorn, alongside family and/or friends.
But Love Actually is more than just a holiday staple; it’s also in the romantic comedy canon. But where would it rank among the greats? Surely below When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, You’ve Got Mail, and Moonstruck, but higher than How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It also trumps other holiday-themed rom-coms, soaring above The Holiday, New Year’s Eve, Just Friends, and Serendipity: While these all beg you to replay them when the weather gets cold, they just don’t have the pull of Love Actually.
Am I wrong? Where would you place Love Actually among the Hall of Fame rom-coms? Does it trump Richard Curtis’s previous scripts for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones’ Diary? How does it fare against the Ephron catalogue?