Richard Curtis’s Love Actually has long been a pillar of the Christmas ensemble rom-com genre, but in more recent years viewers have begun to cast the film in a negative light due to its fatphobia and being generally kind of insane and bad. I myself don’t think the work is beyond critique, but I do remain a stalwart stan, and on this point I want to be clear: I don’t love Love Actually because I’m basic. I love it because I have a turtleneck fetish.
Maybe it’s not en vogue to swoon over this aughts epic where the Prime Minister falls in love with a young staffer, an accomplished novelist falls in love with his young maid who doesn’t speak English, and an 18-year-old Keira Knightley is torn with no agency between two older men all while never speaking but also never fully closing her mouth. I can see where people take issue, but try to say it my way: for every inappropriate pairing in the film there are at least as many turtlenecks, chunky sweaters, thin scarves, and knit caps that push me to the absolute brink of orgasm to so much as glance upon.
Does that sound basic to you?
A lot of people will say: If you need a seasonal romcom with distinct but interwoven narratives, watch The Holiday, which at least has Jack Black in it. And I get that, but The Holiday has fucking five characters, three of whom are in LA the whole time. Does that sound like it’s gonna fill my quota and my spank bank high-necked sweater wise? No. Do better, The Holiday.
To put it in perspective, a basic lover of Love Actually might swoon when Mark shows up with his weird stack of confessional cue cards to tell his best friend’s small wife that he’s obsessed with her. I don’t care about any of that. But when Mark angrily speed walks through the streets of London, then fully zips up his sweater, turning it into a TURTLENECK all well Dido (the human artist version of a turtleneck) swells in the background? It’s like, who ordered the clotted cream?
So next time you hear someone announce their fondness for Love Actually, don’t be so quick to judge. Perhaps they are basic, or perhaps, like me, turtlenecks are the purest and deepest objects of their sexual desire, and this movie is medically necessary to get them off.