Gary Raymond: How Love Actually Ruined Christmas

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for How Love Actually Ruined Christmas. My review is written with thanks to Emma Welton of damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book.


RARELY HAS THE POWER OF CINEMA BEEN FELT BY SO MANY, IN SUCH OPPOSING WAYS… “Love Actually dulls the critical senses, making those susceptible to its hallucinogenic powers think they’ve seen a funny, warm-hearted, romantic film about the many complex manifestations of love. Colourful Narcotics. A perfect description of a bafflingly popular film.” By any reasonable measurement, Love Actually is a bad movie. There are plenty of bad movies out there, but what gets under Gary Raymond’s skin here is that it seems to have tricked so many people into thinking it’s a good movie. In this hilarious, scene-by-scene analysis of the Christmas monolith that is Love Actually, Gary Raymond takes us through a suffocating quagmire of badly drawn characters, nonsensical plotlines, and open bigotry, to a climax of ill-conceived schmaltz. How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) is the definitive case against a terrible movie. with a foreword by Lisa Smithstead.


Going into this book, I fell quite firmly into the “love” camp of Love Actually. I was interested to see if Raymond’s arguments would change my mind.

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas is a short book, which somehow manages to examine each detail of the film, scene by scene, and explain what Raymond thinks is wrong with it. Through this analysis, I discovered some things I’d never realised, some things I’d probably realised but squashed out of consciousness because I enjoyed the film, and some things I realised all along. Raymond’s writing style is quite sarcastic, so the humour in the book appealed to my own sense of humour and made it very easy to read.

What is clear is that even if you like Love Actually, a lot has changed in society since this film was released in 2003. I was encouraged through Raymond’s writing to think about the film in a different way and perhaps consider more seriously the things I’d brushed aside. Having read Raymond’s arguments, I actually feel quite embarrassed to admit which side of the fence I started this journey on.

I’m not sure I will ever be able to muster up the same level of hatred for Love Actually that Raymond has (after all, I still hold out hope every year that Andrew Lincoln will come to my door and declare his love) but I will cast a more cynical eye over it in future.

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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