I love Love Actually. I love watching it, I love talking about it, and I love, love, love, quoting it.
Every line of the Love Actually script invokes its own special joy, but when it comes down to it, some lines are more iconic than others.
So to celebrate the holiday season we are going to take apart this Christmas movie masterpiece into its nine separate stories, and put them back together ranked in order of the staying power of their quotes.
To clarify, all Love Actually stories are important to creating the perfectly balanced whole, but this Christmas we’re counting down which story has made the greatest impression with the most memorable script.
#9. John and Judy.
John and Judy’s story is an artistic juxtaposition of wholesome shyness and explicit sexuality. In fairness to them, they would rank near the top if we were counting down to the most visually striking stories, but alas, we will have to save that for next year.
Besides the awkward request for John to “massage the breasts”, the most memorable line in their love story is Judy’s extremely adorable,
“All I want for Christmas, is you!”
(Cue ‘White Christmas’ by Otis Redding.)
#8. Sam and Daniel.
Sam and Daniel’s story is one of love lost, young love found, and the love that grows between a widower and his stepson. It’s got layers and is arguably the heart of the entire movie. They win points for the most adorable moments and the most connections to the other characters.
When it comes to quotes, the main contenders we’ve got include:
Daniel being stepdad of the century: “We need Kate, and we need Leo. And we need them now.”
Sam being the most romantic 11-year-old ever: “Okay, Dad. Let’s do it. Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”
And then there’s my all-time favourite quote from this story:
*Sam silently shouting Joanna through the airport glass*
#7. Sarah and Karl and Michael.
This is really Sarah’s story, and her brother Michael and her impossibly hot crush Karl are just supporting acts. In my version of the post-Love Actually universe Sarah and Karl find a way to make it work and finally get to have sex. But anyway, I digress.
The most iconic quotes from Sarah’s story include:
The infuriating Nokia ring tone.
Sarah answering the phone with some variation of: “Hello, darling. No, no I’m not busy. Free as a bird, fire away.”
Sarah’s reserved: “Night Karl.”
And of course, Karl, sitting in his underwear, serving up this line in his delicious accent:
“Life is full of interruptions and complications.”
It’s that line that gives me hope that Sarah and Karl eventually work things out. Surely.
#6. Colin and the thotties.
Colin is a smooth talker, so he has a lot of memorable lines.
“Beautiful muffin for a beautiful lady?”
“Try my lovely nuts?”
“Here comes Colin! And he’s got a big knooooobbbb.”
All great, but the real winner for this story is the round the table banter with the suspiciously beautiful group of girls he picks up in the “average American bar.” Who could forget the iconic back and forth accent game of “What do you call that?” that goes from the excitingly disparate pronunciations of “bottle” and “straw” to it’s eventual demise with “table”.
American dreamgirls: “Table! Oh, it’s the same, mmm the same.”
These ladies have no shortage of quotable lines, which is a testament to their talent because the actors apparently did a lot of riffing in this scene.
“She is the ‘sexy one’” and “We don’t even have pyjamas” can be woven into conversation a lot more than one might expect.
#5. Mark, Juliet and Peter.
Maybe these lines are seared into my brain because this story is so painful to watch. Like a car wreck that you can’t look away from.
Everything on Mark’s damn cardboard cards is set in our collective memory, but his “Enough. Enough now.” is the real star line. Probably because it’s the first spoken words after a while.
Undoubtably, Juliet’s comically surprised “I look quite pretty” is the best line of this story because, I mean really? Keira Knightley looking pretty? Who saw that coming!!!
#4. Jamie and Aurelia.
In order of my appreciation for these lines, so, a ranking within a ranking:
Jamie: [in English] “It’s my favourite time of day, driving you.”
Aurelia: [in Portuguese] “It’s the saddest part of my day, leaving you.”
Aurelia: “Yes is being my answer. Easy question.”
Jamie: “You learned English?”
Aurelia: “Just in cases.”
And my favourite…
Jamie’s nieces and nephews: “I HATE Uncle Jamie!”
#3. Billy Mack and Joe, his fat manager.
There is too much good stuff.
From the profanities “Oh! F**k wank bugger sh**ting arse head and hole!”, to “Thank you, Ant or Dec,” to Billy Mack’s infallible advice to the kids.
“Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!”
Pretty much everything that comes out of Billy’s mouth is iconic, and we respect that. Especially when he declares, “It’s a terrible, terrible mistake, Chubs, but you turn out to be the fucking love of my life.”
What a beautiful, unexpected Christmas tale.
#2. Karen and Harry (and unfortunately, Mia).
The most heartbreaking of all the Love Actually stories is Karen’s. Emma Thompson is perfect in this role, and she makes every line spectacular.
Karen gives us everything from “The trouble with being the Prime Minister’s sister is, it does put your life into rather harsh perspective”, “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?”, the suspicious (and accurate) Christmas party observation, “Some more than others”, and the brave front at the final airport scene with “I’m fine, I’m fine.” She is a star.
Now, I hate Mia, but this line is damn catchy: “I don’t want something I need. I want something I want – something pretty.”
Also, Rowan Atkinson’s cameo as the annoying gift wrapper deserves mention for gems like “Ready in the flashiest of flashes” to “Prontissimo” and “This is SO much more than a bag.”
#1. David and Natalie.
Coming in at number one we have our romance between Prime Minister and his employee, a story that might not fly in the same way these days if we’re honest. But Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon are exceedingly charming and it’s impossible not to fall for their little love story.
So many lines fold into every day conversation with amazing ease, like, “I’m very busy and important. How can I help you?”, “Oh, piss it!”, “Oooooo, would we call her chubby?/insert relevant thing under question”, and of course, “Where the fuck is my fucking coat?”
But somehow, it’s the frequency that this line tends to come up throughout the year that truly impresses:
“Eight is a lot of legs David.”
That line alone is enough to win this story the crown.