Jesus Christ.[I was asked to elaborate on this, so I did:]
The characters are completely unrealistic and unlikeable. They’re never developed. Oh how I wish they’d at least based them on (subverting) the stars’ personae, but no, the jokes are apparently funny because it’s a famous person singing badly, a famous person blah blah blah bleeueuuurghghghghhgh.
The film’s on TV a lot so I’d often seen bits and never much liked it. But only now, seeing it all, did I realise how truly awful it is. Whereas before I’d see little parts of the different threads, when looking at the whole thing you realise that there’s very little in storytelling – Curtis in fact often bypasses it, and covers his lack of ability thereof, by having a set of characters suddenly know another, so they can make the revelation of whatever development they’ve had in their life (“We’re getting married!”). Please, no-one try making the excuse that it has a lot of characters to get through; that there’s not enough time to give them each a complex story… Each vignette gets, what, 4-5 scenes of which only two (no more) move anything forward in the slightest. One scene consists of a cut to Mia (Rickman’s secretary) undressing to her underwear. Then the scene ends. Quite what its purpose was, who can say.
The film is pornography. Not in the sense that it is amoral (though Love Actually is amoral in a different sense), but that it simply serves to fulfil a function. Just as someone would want tits to fap to, Love Actually’s audience gets the glorious excess of stars it craves. Just as with the vast majority of porn, there’s no nuance, no quality, no attempt at decent storytelling.
All the film has to say is said in the first 30 seconds, at which point the openly predisposed audience willingly take in the “uplifting” flick, without care or consideration for the fact that in doing so it exists to numb concerns regarding modernisation, corporatism and capitalism.
In short, what makes Love Actually an abysmal film is the exact opposite of everything that makes The Apartment a Great.