Love Actually fans went nuts when it was announced that a 12-minute sequel would air during the UK's Red Nose Day as part of its Comic Relief special last Friday. The spot doesn't officially air in the US until May, but this being 2017 and all, video snippets and recaps abound. And, well, bad news for those aforementioned fans—many people say the Love Actually bit was not so great. Spoilers ahead:
- On Cracked, Amanda Mannen writes that the sequel "destroys" the original movie. You find out that Mark apparently hasn't seen his one-time best friend Peter at all in the 13 years since he declared his love for Peter's new bride in the film, then-little-boy Sam never did move on from Joanna and may in fact have creepily followed her to the United States, and Jamie and Aurelia still don't speak one another's languages. Bottom line? "Love actually is more complicated than a slightly overlong Christmas movie, and that's kind of terrifying."
- At the Mirror, Adam Postans describes the sequel bit as "a poor man’s Four Weddings and a Funeral that delivered precisely nothing."
- At the Guardian, Barbara Ellen suggests the sequel should have been named Guff Actually. "It was all lousy jokes and texted-in performances and looked as though it had been cobbled together by fourth formers as an end-of-term project," she writes.
- Another Guardian reviewer, Peter Bradshaw, calls the spot "bafflingly weak." He does note that, as to the inevitable question of who aged the best, it's clearly Martine McCutcheon, who played the prime minister's wife—"she genuinely doesn't look any different from 2003."
- The sequel has taught us that "if you get together in Christmas 2003, you will stay together forever. It’s just science," writes Anna Leszkiewicz at the New Statesman. "Even if you’ve spent nearly 14 years clinging onto public office. Even if you were a literal child when you met. Even if you hate your wife so much you refuse to learn her first language."
- But not everyone was disappointed. Radio Times calls the sketch "funny" and "poignant," the Telegraph calls it "winningly nostalgic and a triumphant return," and Vanity Fair and RTE round up tweets from satisfied viewers (who especially loved Hugh Grant dancing again).