Four Ladies Snarking

“This is actually a bad movie right?”
“oh yes”
“yeah but I can’t help loving it”

Cynthia*, Karlin, Irene, and myself discussing Love Actually.

I don’t have many traditions that I observe in life, and Christmas is no exception. Sometimes I give people presents (and they’re usually terrible), and occasionally I’ll remember to send cards. Am I watching the Pope celebrate Midnight Mass at the Vatican on television, or dragging myself to Our Lady of Mount Carmel?

This year I sent a few cards and made donations to college funds for a few friends’ kids. I bought a toy for a child through a toy drive, and slipped $40 to the nice lady who empties the trash bins at the office every day. I visited the Christkindlmarket three times, and only got tipsy on glühwein twice.

The one thing I always do at Christmas is watch the same three movies: White Christmas at the Music Box Theatre, where they have carolers and candy canes and Santa Claus. Metropolitan when I’m missing New York and engaging in the kind of pretentious conversation you have when you are a young adult. And Love Actually because I like to torture myself with a terrible movie that I will love forever until Richard Curtis makes an even cornier Christmas movie to take its place.

I usually watch Love Actually at home with some takeout and OKCupid opened (but never logged into) on my laptop. This year I decided to do it differently and watch it with friends. Sort of.

The No. 1 Ladies Online Video Social Club was founded in the summer of 2014 when I whined that I missed a bunch of my girlfriends who have lives and children and jobs and mortgages all over the United States. Well, all over the Central and Eastern time zones, at least. We started chatting online once a month, watching the same movie while we did. So far this year, we’ve watched: Sliding DoorsStealing BeautyDirty Dancing, and Pump Up The Volume (which we didn’t finish for some reason).

I’m going to assume you’ve seen Love Actually (and if you haven’t it’s streaming on Netflix until January 1 so get on it) so I won’t recap it for you here. YOU’RE WELCOME. I will however list a few takeaways from the discussion I had with the other ladies, who snarked about it admirably until the bitter end.

  • Love Actually is really fucking long.
  • The working title of Love Actually was So Many Turtlenecks
  • Naughty office wench who tempted Alan Rickman’s character to cheat on his sad sack wife played by Emma Thompson may have been evil, but we all admired her choppy bob and her ability to make a sweater vest look sexy.
  • Even split on whether or not Karl the “enigmatic chief designer” adored by Laura Linney’s character was hot or not.
  • Hottest thing in Love Actually was the house in the south of France where Jamie (Colin Firth) retreats to work on his book. Second hottest was Aurelia the Portuguese girl who looks after Jamie.
  • There is Love Actually fan fiction and I am going to read all of it.
  • We may all of us be cynical ladies but we all cried when Emma Thompson did not get the gold necklace and stood in her bedroom crying to “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell.
  • What’s worse: the premise that Natalie the office girl for the Prime Minister was fat, or the movie’s insistence that at Christmas you always tell the truth? Is this a weird English thing?
  • A sequel to Love Actually should include Mark the dude who loved Keira Knightley’s character showing up with the same cards but for Emma Thompson’s character who we hope would have left Alan Rickman by then.

I cannot imagine watching Love Actually without my ladies, and I look forward to next month, when we will most likely eviscerate John Hughes’ immortal Pretty in Pink.

Merry Christmas, and may your holiday be merry and bright.

* names changed because we’re secretive like that


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