Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Actually, it's War!

Originally Published 10 December 2013

This afternoon, a pimple of an issue - the apparent worthiness or otherwise of Richard Curtis' 2002 Christmas rom-com, Love Actually - has become a boil on the bum of Brisbane's Christmas.

Apparently, anyone who hates Love Actually is subjected to a variety of negative responses, ranging from disbelief to hostility, if they dare to admit their lack of love for this modern Christmas classic. This has not been my experience, but I like the movie, so I may be in the majority.

To read the opening shots in the battle of Love Actually, see Brisbane Times Entertainment Reporter Natalie Bochenski's column entitled Love Actually sucks, actually. No box of Victory Jaffas for guessing which side she is on. 

I'm on the other side. I might've been tempted to retort with a pithy suggestion involving a large cup of concrete, but Ms Bochenski knew what reaction she'd get when she wrote her column, and she's plenty tough enough to take it.

Take it, she is. Already, social media and the Brisbane Times' comments page are being over-run with vicious back and forth. Some of it is needlessly and cruelly personal, directed squarely at Ms Bochenski. It's nasty, and entirely unwarranted. I guess that proves her point.

But Gawd, it's all so hand-wringingly earnest on both sides.

Why do some people feel that they are the superior arbiters of good taste and artistic endeavour, and that those who have a different aesthetic sense are somehow less educated, less refined, less sophisticated, too snobby, up themselves...or god help us all, unworthy of having an opinion at all? 

Fashion. Music. Movies. Technology. Cars. Food. If its not enough that we're still battling sexism, racism and homophobia, we are constantly being judged on the choices we make, and it's bullshit. It's absolute first class, solid gold, fur-lined ocean-going bullshit. Enjoying a movie is not an absolute, like gravity; nor is it a hanging offence, like wearing tights as pants. You can loathe a movie and still be a good person, and vice versa.

So, with that out of the way, I won't bore you by refuting each of the seven reasons why Ms Bochenski has decreed that Love Actually sucks. I could, but I don't care that much what she thinks about a movie I love. If people don't like the movie, I'm not going to hold a gun to their heads and make them watch it.

And with that out of the way, I'd appreciate it very much if you could all take a big step away from the sharp, pointy things. I have a movie* to watch.

* No, not that one.



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