Over the years “Love Actually” became our traditional Christmas movie.Mine and the travelling husband’s.It became our Christmas movie not really by our choice and neither because it is a masterpiece of the global movie industry.It was more by chance.
It all started around 10 years ago.They were showing it on tv,none of us haven’t seen it before and so we watched it and enjoyed it.The following Christmas they showed it again and we noticed the coincidence that like the previous year it was shown on tv the day before we left to spend Christmas in Italy.The third year,it happened again.From the forth year we started to look for it in the tv guide around Christmas time.It became the opening of our Christmas season.Year after year it became a date.Things didn’t change when we moved house.It is a matter of fact that,being December when we moved in the new house, it was shown briefly after the moving and it was the first movie ever recorded on our new sky box planner.What did change,years after years, are the characters I identify myself and sympathize with. I started with Juliet and I finished with Karen……..Unfortunately,age wise,there is not a character in between and,I suppose, after forty Karen is the closest option to reality.For the record I listen at Patti Smith and not at Judy Mitchell and my husband doesn’t buy “cds”for christmas…..I think.
Love Actually became not only our traditional Christmas movie but also the reflection of the time that passes.
When it was released in the cinemas I was still living in Italy and clearly remember it.It was December:last December before we permanently moved to Ireland.The traveling husband was already in Dublin and I was still in Italy organizing the last few things for the moving.Myself and Rudy(our late dog)were going to join him permanently on the 29th.But this is not the reason because I remember when it was released.I remember it because that week I went to movie with my mom, as we used to do every wednesday evening.The cinema was particularly packed because of the release of the new blockbuster movie .We were not there to see it, we were there to see Ferzan Ozpetec’s last movie, a director we both are very fond of and whose movies I really miss since I moved.Unfortunately he is not well known in the international circuit.But this is not the reason I remember its release either.The reason I remember its release is because at the cinema box office I met,the travelling husband best men’s former fiance’.I haven’t seen her her since the wedding,my wedding…a wedding she spoiled and I,as a bride,even if an unconventional one,I never forgave her for.
At this point a little regresion is necessary.
Our wedding was a small wedding,not as small as we would have liked but,still under average.Only 60 guests,no kids allowed.With a such small group,a sad unfriendly face is very much noticeable.Even more if she sits at the bride and groom table.We haven’t been aware that she and the best man did split the previous week.They didn’t want to spoil our day, we were told.Well,he didn’t.She,I am not so sure about and,even if she didn’t,she should have tried harder.It was a short wedding,12 to 4…not an unreasonable amount of time to pretend she didn’t dislike us all. She did make no effort with her outfit either.It was surely more appropriate for a funeral then a wedding.The excuse was that being a civil wedding and not a religious one she didn’t know what to expect:Right!I haven’t seen her smiling during all time,unless you call smile the grimace she managed to do for the pictures.Thanks God we didn’t have a professional photographer,at least I didn’t have to pay to have that grin printed!The worst part came at the restaurant.Our table should have been the funniest,it was not.I admit,myself an the traveling husband were happily busy, distracted,possibly slightly drunk but, when we eventually had to sit down for the food, everything was quite clear to us too.It was the two of us,the best man with what we thought was still his fiance’and my bridesmaid with her partner.Small table:two people,supposedly a couple, nasty awkward toward each other are easily spottable.Even more if one of the two does nothing to hide she’s there because she has to.That is the thing,she didn’t have to.Could she not fake a migraine or a stomach bug like everybody else would have done?Nop!She had to be there:Egocentric wedding spoiler.The travelling husband was always fond of her,I thought was nice(ish)and fun(ish):I saw right!Who I became fond of,instead,was my bridesmaid’s partner.I never really thought the world of him but that day he saved us:It still a mystery why but, he had in his pocket one of those joke ring that squirt water and started to spray everybody to ease the tension.It worked, actually……..Only one person was not happy about it.Guess who?!
So,two year passed and here I find her ,pretty far away from her hometown and all smiling going to see Love Actually with the new boyfriend.Why do you never have a water squirting ring when you need it?!?Since then Love Actually is linked to the memory of that strange encounter and my wedding day.
Watching Love Actually around Christmas time became by chance a tradition of the house; it became by chance the pretext to bring back memories of circumstances I never really thought about for years and years;it became by chance the mirror of the years that pass on my persona,my marriage,my life.It sounds pretty silly that a “stupid” romantic comedy can have such power .May be it is just my silly fervid imagination that makes me see things even were they are not,as someone would say.May be it is!None less I love my silly fervid imagination.It saved me in so many situations I lost the count and it still do.I love my silly fervid imagination as much as I love watching love Actually every Christmas with the travelling husband.I love it as much as I love my wedding day as it was because otherwise we wouldn’t have anything to laugh about.