• The humor of Love Actually, particularly the fat-shaming jokes about Natalie’s weight, are no longer funny and have been criticized over the years.
  • Director Richard Curtis is now aware of this and admits he meant no harm but feels he was inattentive.
  • It’s important to evaluate the intent and flavor of the storytelling and recognize that some dated comedies may lack redeeming qualities and are better left in the past.

Love actually may be considered a Christmas classic, but writer and director Richard Curtis has revealed he regrets some of the humor used in the film. The romantic comedy followed numerous couples as they navigated their relationships during the Christmas season. Love actually was packed with an all-star cast including Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightly. To mark the 20th anniversary, this has led to many cast members commenting on their experiences during filming.

Finally, Curtis chimed in with his own thoughts. During his appearance at the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (via Today)Curtis, who also directed hits like The Diary of Bridget Jones And Notting Hillrecounted a conversation with his daughter in which she commented on the language he uses in his films, particularly in relation to Martine McCutcheon’s character Love actually, Natalie, who is often vaccinated because of her weight. Curtis said:

I remember how shocked I was five years ago when [my daughter] Scarlett said to me, “You can never use the word ‘fat’ again.” And wow, [she was] Right. I think I was behind the curve and those jokes aren’t funny anymore, so I don’t feel like I was being malicious at the time, but I think I was inattentive and not as smart as I should have been.

Is it worth revisiting the humor of past classics?

As times change, so do the public’s opinions on comedy. The sentence “a product of its time“used when describing jokes from the past that don’t seem to fit in the present. Love actually, a 2003 film, frequently comments on Natalie’s weight when it isn’t necessary; Even her lovers, played by Hugh Grant, find themselves in turmoil during a supposedly wholesome reunion. Over the years, many have criticized Love actually‘s tendency to fat-shame Natalie.

If you re-watch old films, some of the humor may seem offensive today. For example, the romantic comedy Jack Black Flat neck has recently gained a new fan base after sharing many clips around TikTok. The plot itself revolves heavily around the idea that Black’s love interest is big and he can’t see it. Many of the jokes used are extremely dated, but the message the film is trying to convey is that Black’s character judged others without ever truly seeing what was inside. After he sees what he couldn’t before, the film really comes into its own as it shows how wrong he was about others.

Some older comedies reinforce stereotypes with the intent of making others the butt of the joke. You could say Love actually falls into this category because the comments about Natalie’s weight add nothing to the story. That’s why it’s a relief to see Curtis reassessing things and taking a different stance. In the end, it is important to follow the intent of the story when it is tastefully presented and to remember the state of the world and comedy at the time. While some dated comedies have a few redeeming qualities, the same can’t be said for others, and that’s when it’s best to leave things in the past.

Source: Today

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