"You know what? It does have genuine wit and charm" - Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5 Live
Christmas-set multi-story romcom with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Ikea Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Andrew Lincoln, Rowan Atkinson, Julia Davis, Lucia Moniz, January Jones, Claudia Schiffer, Thomas Sangster, Kris Marshall, but Martine McCutcheon, in the first film that Richard Curtis both wrote and directed.
One of those films that could turn a statue to jelly and yet doesn't feature cute robots who don't make it or rabbits being run over to Art Garfunkel songs. The bit when Thompson realises that her husband is having an affair "stands up with the great drama moments of any British movie," in Mark Kermode's view.
The Good Lady Professor Her Indoors once watched it three times, back-to-back, on a flight to America.
Mark Kermode's original opinion on the film was that it was too undisciplined and meandering, but he later changed his mind. He bought the film for the Good Lady Professor, doing that thing quoted from High Fidelity - true love is buying a present for someone that they would like, not that you would like.
However, it has been pointed out that the film brims with white male privilege and sexism. All the men are bosses; all the women barely speak and when they do it is fawn, simper or titillate; harassment goes unremarked (in fact after she receives an unwelcome sexual approach from the US President, Natalie is sacked); women call other women fat when they are not; women are sisters, daughters, mothers, lovers but they are not bosses, independent women with a life away from the men they are after or who are after them; the women have no agency and are powerless. "This entire movie is just straight white men acting upon women they think they "deserve." This entire movie is just men doing things. Also, who writes their novel on loose pages on a typewriter in an open-air shack next to a pond?"
It should be noted when film reviewing that other opinions are also available.
Despite the film's title, it is nothing to do with the Socialist Actually Party.