Although Love in fact Was once at the absolute top of the best holiday movies of the 2000s, its reputation has taken a serious hit in the past couple of years. Despite the stellar cast, heartwarming quotes, and fuzzy soundtrack, there are aspects of the film that are considered callous and regressive for current audiences.
Love in fact does not hold up for many modern viewers as it strongly reinforces various gender stereotypes and maintains the traditional hierarchy of genres. The film perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards via Natalie and the Prime Minister’s screenplay. In addition, her visual perspective of the male gaze, via the script by Jamie and Aurélia, connotes the symbolic oppression of women. The following plots show that it is not worth pursuing the Love in fact bow in another holiday season.
Natalie, the Prime Minister and the President
The new UK prime minister, David, develops an attraction to a member of his maintenance committee, Natalie. In the meantime, his real challenge comes in the form of a state visit by the fictitious POTUS who will not hesitate to display rude behavior behind closed doors.
After David sees the POTUS encroaching on Natalie’s space, he decides to act by lambasting their nations’ “special relationship” on national television. Although the incident is a clear example of misconduct at work, David, instead of Natalie, chooses to be upset about it. He “redistributes” her to another team and her feelings are not evaluated until she willingly admits to being guilty of misunderstanding the dynamics of the workplace. The incident is a glaring example of the mismanagement of workplace harassment and as a result it is not going well today.
Nathalie and the Prime Minister
Natalie’s bodily shame is another angle of the 10 Downing Street saga that needs to be revisited today. She has been criticized and harassed about her weight three times in the movie. First, when David asks who she lives with, she explains that she came home because her boyfriend dumped her for “getting fat.” Then the film draws attention to Natalie’s body via a conversation between David and a coworker. And finally, it is revealed that Natalie’s own father gave her the nickname “Plumpy”.
As demeaning as these instances are in themselves, they play a huge role in consolidating the characters of Natalie / Ordinary Girl. Overall, this particular story of the “chubby girl” (supposedly without any knowledge of the formal work environment) pursued by the man in the highest office is deeply rooted in gender stereotypes of the world. bygone era.
Aurélia and Jamie
When Jamie’s girlfriend cheats on him with her brother, he retires to a French lake house to work in peace and quiet. Although it looks like Jamie is feeling lonely over Christmas, a Portuguese housekeeper named Aurelia soon meets his eyes.
The storyline doesn’t play out well as both characters embody gender traits, in that their story is obviously portrayed from a heterosexual perspective. Aurélia exists as a show, and her universe is to be viewed from Jamie’s point of view or in other words, intended for the male gaze. The visual structuring of the scene where Aurelia takes off her clothes to get Jamie’s papers out of the lake is the one that really ignites their romance. As the camera pans up and down Aurelia’s body, Jamie watches her in absolute awe. This scene is questionable today and only serves the visual language of 2003.
Colin and American Women
When Colin, the rude waiter at Juliette and Peter’s wedding, fails to argue with the wedding caterer, he abruptly decides to fly to America in search of the love of his life. There’s a lot to unwrap in this bizarre subplot and viewers find it the least romantic of all. Love in fact intrigues.
Colin, who much prefers the name “God of Sex”, needs a reality check. Not wanting to accept that he was turned down because of his rude and obnoxious behavior, he says his only obstacle to love is that British women are stuck. It’s an outrageous statement and put it simply, Colin is a man who demonizes women for their free will and doesn’t understand how it works.
Mia and Harry
Many scenes in the film allude to Mia’s sexual suggestiveness and limit her role to being there only to arouse Harry’s sexual desire. Even though she and Harry are drawn to each other as well, the film makes it seem like she’s the one who leaves titillating clues to get his attention. The traditional gender hierarchy is established by the fact that Mia has a subordinate status to Harry, who has more power.
Additionally, the devil horn headband and red dress Mia wears to the office Christmas party are meant to give off a promiscuous vibe, while Harry’s drab clothes make him appear as a “helpless” man. Free as this lustful visual language is, there’s no denying that it plays a central role in Harry and Mia’s storyline.
Harry and karen
Alan Rickman’s Harry is arguably the least likeable character in Love in fact for more than one reason. While his wandering eye is a point of contention, it’s still his emotional unavailability and psychological projection that annoys fans today. And that’s pretty obvious when he buys Karen a Joni Mitchell CD as a Christmas present “to continue her emotional education.”
Modern viewers can’t help but wonder who really needs the education (read: therapy) between the two of them? Harry’s projection is apparent in the scene, and many fans believe that offering the CD as an educational tool is a real defense mechanism to deal with his negative feelings. He’s absolutely throwing his midlife crisis on Karen and Emma Thompson fans aren’t ready to let him slip.
Karen and Daniel
The subplot about the two best friends, Karen and Daniel, could have been one of the redemptive aspects of Love in fact if it had not been heteronormative in nature.
Karen’s interaction with Daniel is essentially a sheet of popular old-school media chunks where men learn to reduce their vulnerability if they shed a tear or two. When Daniel admits he’s upset about the loss of his wife, Karen gives him a pat on the back before forbidding him to cry. And while she isn’t completely petty, it undermines his masculinity and reinforces the idea that he has to hide his feelings in order to appear more desirable to women.
Marc and Juliet
Mark is arguably the most controversial figure in the Love in fact universe. Because he is distant with his best friend’s wife, Juliet, viewers are first led to believe that he doesn’t like her. This isn’t the most preferable scenario, but it works until the cat is out of the bag.
As soon as viewers find out that Mark has maintained a video library of Juliet’s extreme close-ups, their worlds are turned upside down. Now Mark’s character is receiving criticism for actions bordering on voyeurism, but he’s rarely called out for his rights concerns. Mark represents the most common rom-com trope that must be declared irrelevant in modern times. His abrupt behavior is anything but a “coping mechanism” for dealing with the pain of unrequited feelings. The truth is, her problem with unrequited love is her one and only problem, but it’s Juliet who pays the price for the right and has to face her rude behavior.
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