Love Actually Movie Poster Image

Love Actually



Romantic and entertaining -- for older teens.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Love is all around.

Positive role models

Strong, loving diverse characters.


Some tense and sad scenes (a funeral for the wife of one of the main characters).


Sexual references and situations, nudity.


Some very strong language including "f--k."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drug humor, drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie's R rating comes from some very strong language, sexual references and sexual situations, including prostitutes and adultery, and humorous nudity. A character's history of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is played for humor. There are some tense and sad scenes. Some audience members may object to the portrayal of the American President (Billy Bob Thornton) as a crude bully. One of the movie's many strengths is its matter-of-fact portrayal of loving inter-racial friendship and romance.

What's the story?

The interwoven stories of LOVE ACTUALLY all take place in the weeks before Christmas. They include a Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who is drawn to the outspoken girl who delivers his tea, an 11-year old (Thomas Sangster) who wants to attract the attention of the coolest girl in school, a man in love with his best friend's new bride, a waiter who is sure that all his dreams of romance will come true if he goes to America, a thoroughly married man (Alan Rickman) whose flirtatious secretary is making him wonder how thoroughly married he is, a rock star (Bill Nighy) angling for a comeback with a cheesy Christmas single, a heartbroken writer (Colin Firth) who can't stop thinking about the woman who cleans his house, even though they don't understand each other's languages, and a couple who meet at work as movie stand-ins assigned to increasingly (and hilariously) more intimate poses.

Is it any good?


Love Actually is as stuffed with goodies as the Christmas stockings for those at the very top of Santa's "nice" list -- and it is just as entertaining, too. Richard Curtis, who wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill for the first time directs his own screenplay with heart and style. It helps, of course, that he has a dream cast, including newcomer Sangster, a real-life cousin of Hugh Grant and already a first-rate actor and a knock-out screen presence. Each of the actors creates complete, endearing, vivid, and vulnerable characters that we will remember long after we have forgotten most "stars" who spend two full hours onscreen in the latest multiplex fodder.

This is a movie about taking big chances (both hopeful and hopeless), about making big gestures to show our love, and about big, big feelings that may make us crazy and miserable but remind us that we are alive and why we are alive. In addition, any movie that manages to include a child dressed as a Nativity lobster, a Bay City Rollers song played at a funeral, love-emergency lessons in both drums and Portuguese, and Hugh Grant dancing through the halls of 10 Downing Street to the Pointer Sisters is worth seeing at least twice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the characters handle their feelings of loss, longing, and fear.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 7, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:April 27, 2004
Cast:Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson
Director:Richard Curtis
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:135 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality, nudity and language

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Adult Written bycoullk July 18, 2009

Not appropriate for any age group.

Hated it!!! The language and sexual content was so offensive that we left the cinema after the first 20 minutes of the film.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 2 year old Written byAimeePiexx February 13, 2010

perfect but not for little ones

its amazing but not for kids
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bymissmurder19 December 15, 2009

Great movie, but more for young adults...

Love this movie! It is one of my all-time favorites. Just be wary of the sexual situation scenes and the swearing. It is a perfect movie for Christmas (or anytime!), especially for families with older teens. It's just a feel-good movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models