Cover Image: How Love Actually Ruined Christmas

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

The book title explains itself what this is about. Gary Raymond basically explains, scene by scene, why the film Love Actually isn’t actually that good. He explains why the film is more of a “colourful narcotic” designed to give the viewers the warm and fuzzy feeling, whilst showcasing some quite unpleasant messages - usually about women. I have always loved the film and watch it again and again - even when it’s not Christmas. And this book has lessened the love a little bit.

Gary made the book witty, humorous, and insightful - the book opened my eyes to some of the things in the film that I have always found funny but now looking at it I can see that some of the scenes are a little tasteless. A great book for fans and non fans of the film.
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This book went through all of the scenes of the movie, Love Actually. If you have been a fan of the movie like me, you still will.enjoy reading how the author feels about each character and what happened in each scene. It is like you are watching it with a friend that talks throughout it about their feelings. I would recommend that you have seen the movie, or you will not.understand the book.
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I didn’t finish this book as the author comes across as very rude and heavily opinionated in just the introduction.

I agree that the film has it’s flaws, and I hate the movie for that. But to me, it is enjoyable.

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I really enjoyed this book - funny and insightful, I won’t be able to watch Love Actually in the same way again.
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Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this. 

I'm going to out myself here. I can't stand "Love, Actually". For many many reasons. I've never seen the appeal. 

The beauty of this book is that 

1. It confirms in exquisite detail that I AM RIGHT (oh yes)
2. Gary Raymond has sat and watched it on repeat to explain its many and varied faults (so I don't have to). 

This book is funny. It's right. It's very readable. it might change your mind about this film (if you're one of those weirdo fans)

it also had me gabbling over breakfast this morning, explaining why young people should be studying film and media rathre than 19th century literature. And I love 19th century literature, in general. But we are bathed in film and TV and all sorts of other media, and should really know how to analyse it and think about it.
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Like many, I have complicated feelings about Love Actually.  It's less than 20 years old, but already feels dated; yet it's too new to allow its faults to be forgiven for the time in which it was made.  I'm not a fan of the holiday season, so the angst in this movie resonates with me.  That said, I really enjoyed this scene by scene take down of the movie.  I'll be laughing in a whole new way during my annual viewing from now on.  I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) By Gary Raymond

Well what can I say? I saw this one on @netgalley and thought it sounded interesting. I can't say I am the hugest fan of Love Actually but I have seen it a few times, in fact I think I start the film every christmas and probably fall asleep after 20 mins after too many xmas snowballs!!! I'd seen a few reviews with people saying this was funny so I thought I'd give it a go.

Well I'm sorry to say that it wasn't for me. As I said I wasn't the biggest fan of the film but when I have watched it I have enjoyed it, so maybe I am not the target market for this book as the author clearly did not! The book is basically a scene by scene breakdown of the film going through what the author doesn't like, finds sexist or thinks doesnt make sense.

I am all for everyone having an opinion and to be honest some of his points did make sense but I am more of the camp, if you dont have anything nice to say.... I just really couldnt believe that this was a whole book dedicated to disecting each scene of the book. At first I found some of the musings funny but after a while it got a bit tedious. Liek I said I think I totally chose wrong on this one, and I am not the target market the author was aiming at. I love a rom-com and I love christmas so even though Love Actually has never been my favourite christmas film, I still feel like I cant champion a book that tears into it.
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Thank you to Netgalley for my arc of this book.
I wasnt sure whether I would like this book as I LOVE Love Actually, however I read it was supposed to be a funny description of the film.
I can confirm this isnt the case! If you are a fan of Love Actually this isnt for you! However if you do not enjoy Love Actually and want to hear someone moaning about the reasons why they dont like it then you might enjoy this!
I havent really got much else to say about this book apart from it actually made me want to watch it all over again because it describes the film scene by scene and I could picture the whole film!!
But if you are a fan of Love Actually then stay away! Not for me unfortunately!
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Thanks to the publishers for sharing this one. I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't a fan of that movie. My full review appears on Weekend Notes.
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As a regular watcher of Love Actually over the festive season, I was intrigued as to how Gary Raymond would approach his critique of the film. So many of his observations were spot on - Emma Thompson's Karen telling Liam Neeson's Daniel to get over the death of his wife, Joanna, before they had even had her funeral, for example, Billy Mack and his Britney Spears joke etc. Laura Linney is wasted in this movie but it is a big ensemble cast and that's the beauty of it. So many parts don't gel, are misogynistic or are just plain old weird. Still it's essential Christmas viewing to be watched when the kids are in bed while wrapping the last presents. The book is funny, going through the film scene by scene picking up on so many different things. Not necessarily essential reading but definitely a humorous mickey take of the film beloved by many.
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This book wins all the things on dedication alone... 
To All Those Who Have Had The Sh%$t Kicked Out Of Them By Love Actually 

Going into this book is going to be very different for each reader; depending on if you are in the.
Love, Actually is the best Christmas film every catagory, or Love, Actually is the bane of every Chritmas since it hit the cinemas in 2003.
I am in the latter camp, sitting in my local cinema with my mum, Christms 2003, expecting joy..
I came out physically shaking and disturbed. Not till years later, (i was 17 at the time) did i understand that I had a physical reaction of bring attacked from watching this film.
And this book told me why, it was therepy I didn't know I needed.

It explained to me the reasons i jumped at the mention of Martine Mccutcheon sizeable arse or Plumpy nickname.
Why Andrews Lincons decloration of love with flash cards, or Colins Firths march through the streets of Marseilles hunting his 'love' felt so aggressive.
Why, when coming out the Cinema, i was left feeling alone, bullied and worthless for not having a good time.

Scene by Scene Gary Raymond breaks down the judgemental, misogynistic, cruelity, and almost joyess bullying of women, disbility and class in this film.
Wrapped up in centimental, confusing and downright dizzing timelines. 

But don't get me wrong, if you love this film, chances are at the end of this book you still will. It is whitty and insightful. Well researched and written with a keen eye on the times now.
This won't spoil your love of the film, just maybe make you question a few things and come to terms with them.

I needed this book, Thank You Gary.
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This is a fun read and, without trying to be dismissive or rude, a good gag gift to be added to the pile of books in the smallest room in the house.  The ‘colourful narcotics’ in the title is because the author misread a review referencing ‘colourful neurotics’. 

Raymond has decided to make use of the time in lockdown in this pandemic world, to finally write the book he’s been threatening to write for years. The one about how that perennial festive favourite, “Love, Actually”, is not the warm and fuzzy cinematic triumph people think it is. 

It is of course, tongue in cheek and should not be seen as a serious argument – plenty of people love and enjoy and watch this film all year round. 

The book itself is a scene by scene breakdown the film, character driven. Doing it that way  does highlight some of the ridiculous timelines – how does Tony get from being on the set of the adult film to the wedding reception? Why does he do that? He doesn’t appear to be an invited guest but is hanging out the back…

Some of the points are funny and manage to articulate something I hadn’t put my finger on before. The fact that the central premise is that Christmas is a time where you tell the truth, for example. Never has that been a principle in real life Christmas. You spend time with relatives you might have differing views from you, politically or otherwise – Christmas is not the time to tell them you’re vegan because all dairy produced is inhumane. You wrap that all up in a neat bow and pop it in a box, ready to be nice for a few days. You pretend you love that present, you don’t want that last roast potato and you definitely think that one glass of wine is enough. 

Other points have been discussed and analysed at length – the affair with Alan Rickman and his secretary, the fact that the central ‘joke’ about Martine McCutcheon’s character is that she’s ‘fat’ and unsuitable for a Prime Minister. 

I’d recommend this book as a Christmas present for someone who dislikes the film already, fancies a slightly fun read and will no doubt read bits of it out over the annual family screening of the film.
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Thank you to NetGalley for early access to this book. This book was compelling. Did I agree with all of it no, was it interesting to read yes.
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I have spent (until recently) years despising this film...I still hate that bloody song though! 🎶 And although it's set at Christmas, I still can't bring myself to class it as a Christmas movie, pretty much like' Die Hard'.

This was laugh out loud funny, easy reading for both lovers & haters of the film. 

And my favourite part & the most memorable to me will always be Hugh Grant & his dad dancing to 'Jump'! 🕺

𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮 4 🌟 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴.
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I’m one of those people that loves Love Actually. Have done since I first saw it. I know it is problematic, and it always has been. In much the same way as my favorite 90’s shows have been dissected in recent years, Gary Raymond has done the same to one of my favorite movies. And I’m not mad at it. In fact, I actually agree with most of his points. And I would have probably agreed back in 2003 when the film was released too. This is a witty look at this particular British Romcom, not to tar them all with the same brush, but to be fair most of them have their foibles. I really enjoyed HLARC, I’ll probably still watch Love Actually again this Christmas, but after reading this, I might not see it in the same way that I did 17 years ago!
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #ParthianBooks for giving me an ARC of #HowLoveActuallyRuinedChristmas by #GaryRaymond in exchange for my honest review.

5 Stars

I firmly fall into the camp of people who love, love, love Love Actually so when I read the blurb of this book I absolutely had to read it. Gary Raymond takes us through the film, scene by scene, critically appraising everything from the characters, the actors, the acting and the writing of this film that seems to have become something of a Christmas Classic. This status seems to baffle Raymond who states that “Love Actually is a bad movie”.

This book was absolutely hilarious! I read it firmly in one sitting and there were moments that I laughed out loud much to the bemusement of my husband. As a lover of the film I particularly enjoyed the behind the scenes extra information that Raymond adds into the footnotes of the book (for example, did you know that Rowan Atkinson’s character was supposed to be an angel?) I would definitely recommend this book to both lovers and haters of Love Actually, it is an all-round funny, insightful exploration of a much loved Christmas film.
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Confession time as soon as the John Lewis Christmas advert appears on screen, I’m in full Christmas mood. One of the first things I like to do during this time is buy a Gingerbread Latte (in a red cup) and drink it whilst watching “Love Actually”! It is part of ritual to get my excited about the upcoming season. 

Now I know “Love Actually” is filled with flaws and problematic characters (Andrew Lincoln’s character is just awful). And the editing and time line is very confusing but for me it is the perfect movie to get me into the Christmas mood. 

So why was I drawn to Gary Raymond’s book “How Love Actually Ruined Christmas”? Because, I knew the movie was like marmite and I wanted to know why someone would hate it so much to claim it ruined Christmas. 

Raymond, divided the book into the timeline of the movie and dissects each scene in turn. In a comical and thought provoking way.  This is also sprinkled with fact and additional commentary about the movie. Was Hugh Grant’s character based in Tony Blair or Boris Johnson?

This book will not stop me from enjoying my yearly ritual, it did make me watch the movie with fresh eyes! And provide a fun commentary on this Christmas movie. 

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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As a fan of Love Actually, but with an of awareness of the fact it isn't perfect and it has it's flaws - as soon as I saw this I wanted to read it to truly get the view from the other side of the coin. While I do feel Gary Raymond had some interesting points it also feels self indulgent, like it's written by someone whose friends are possibly a bit fatigued with his rants about a Christmas romcom. He literally writes that the book is here to serve his ego, and you really pick that up from the get go.

I found his perspective on Harry and Karen well thought out - maybe their story arc isn't quite as straight forward as we initially would be led to believe with there being more to it than Harry just being a "classic fool". His opinion on Colin as "the most repulsive sex pest" is spot on as well.

Gary Raymond is, however, a little misguided in his complaining - he mentions numerous times how offensive a lot of it is, and how fat jokes shouldn't be allowed but in the same breath comments on the appearance of an actual child (calling his looks "creepy"). It just didn't sit right with me.

He also spent so much time mentioning the fat jokes and offensive humour that he failed to spot one of the most glaring plot holes in the film, which is slightly disappointing as someone that spent hours upon hours watching it to find things to complain about.

There are some genuine funny moments and overall it's an interesting, quick read for both fans of Love Actually and those who aren't.
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As a regular viewer of ‘love actually’ I was interested to see how this book would develop.  

Whilst I’m critical of stuff in life, i have generally watched movies for enjoyment.   I loved 4 weddings and a funeral, I watched it countless times before Love Actually was released, so I loved this movie too.   I was interested in how the odd things in the film (which I think don’t bother me as I watch it at Christmas when I’ve turned off those bits of me) present to others.  The author was funny and it was an enjoyable read.

Will the book put me off settling down to rewatch Love Actually?   No.  I’m sure I’ll watch it for many years to come.

Thanks for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks to Netgalley, Gary Raymond and the publisher.
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As a yearly watcher of Love Actually, I picked this book up out of curiousity. I didn't think it was going to change my feelings about the movie (which are generally positive), and I was correct. But it did make me think more about the sensitivity of some scenes.

There are a few parts of Love Actually that have always been problematic -- the "cue card" scene, the "fat jokes", etc. Raymond goes further by basically dissecting each scene with his analysis, but some of his comments were so snarky that it was hard to take them seriously. In a bookstore, I wouldn't know if this book would be shelved in the humor section or in film criticism. But he did have some valid points that hit home for me (particularly about the Prime Minister). 

So I will still be watching and enjoying Love Actually in December, but I might look at some scenes in a new light.

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