05 December 2022 585 Views

Richard Curtis movies ARE Diverse, Actually!

by James Murphy

VERY. DIVERSE.

Seriously, dude, Curtis. LOVE YOUR WORK. And I love, LOVE ACTUALLY. Even pitched a sequel or 2 once to the awesome Emma Freud. 

However, Mr Curtis: tsk, tsk! HOW CAN YOU NOT ‘GET’ that your work IS very diverse? Yes, I know, I know. People will bemoan its lack of murders, class warfare, gangsterism, misery and false quota tokenism.

They are WRONG. And you are equally misguided in rising to their nonsense. 

I humbly present, MY theory, on why Curtis rom-coms are not just diverse but in actual fact, are THE trail-blazing poster brand FOR true inclusion.

As in, everyone just experiencing life and love, together. 

Here. We. GO!

 

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL: 

There is a gay couple in this film. Gareth (Simon Callow) and Matthew (John Hannah). No biggie.

Except it was 1994. Back when gay = comedy sidekick / there to make hero look more macho and in no way gay at all. Etc. Hollywood, even British television, media in general, were still kinda homophobic back then.

So, to have two gay men who just happened to be driving forces in the hero’s worldview, as his trusted friends? Genius.

They show us how to enjoy life and GET ON WITH IT. Sexuality is an irrelevance. Today? Their entire story would probably be performed as monologue lecture, didactically inserted to the script, as plot filler. Which, in a way? Is a massive step back, imho. 

Curtis was an innovator for inclusion. THIRTY YEARS AGO!

NEXT?

NOTTING HILL:

THINK ABOUT IT. FOR ONE SECOND.

Bella (Gina McKee) is disabled. As in, uses wheelchair. Is also: top flight Barrister, former girlfriend/muse to Will (Hugh Grant) and a model of LOVE with hubby, Max (Tim McInnerny).

LOVE ACTUALLY

This is Curtis’ most diverse project. EVER. Consider, the following:

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor has a prominent role. Not as a black actor. But just as an actor. He is charming and yet arguably, a kind of twin obstacle to and personification of a love story in the film.

 

  • Bill Nighy shows us that, both in and, in a ‘meta’ moment, beyond the screen: you CAN find a second wind career in later years. The older rock star he portrays becomes a chart topping sensation. Equally, Bill, himself, thanks to this role, alone? Found a new lease of box office life and appeared in the likes of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2, 3, 5 etc. I love Bill. A very cool star who happens to be a great character actor and nice chap. Oscar time, next year, too. 

 

  • Laura Linney plays Sarah: a girl in love with Karl (Rodrigo Santoro). Sarah is dealing with a very ill brother (played by Michael Fitzgerald). Mental health, again is ‘there’ as an issue, years before people talked about it.

 

  • Colin Firth’s writer character falls in love with a lovely Portuguese girl (Lúcia Moniz).
  • Nina Sosanya plays a high ranking politician/civil servant.
  • The wonderful singing set-piece comes from Olivia Olson.
  • Rowan Atkinson possibly, plays an ANGEL. Even the afterlife is represented here.
  • Claudia Schiffer is GERMAN, right? Ok that’s enough diversity.
  • ANT AND DEC are in it, innit.

 

IN SHORT/SUMMARY? RICHARD CURTIS. YOUR WORK = DIVERSE. You just, wisely, never made that a ‘thing’. Cos love conquers everything. Always. The end. Happy Advent. x

 

 

 



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