The movie knows little and cares less about how people fall in love.
So take the film on its own titular terms. What does Love Actually tell us about love, actually? Well, I think it tells us a number of things, most of them wrong and a few of them appalling.
You know nothing, Christopher Orr. Love is appalling, actually, as is most of human behavior. Sure, it’s about these awkward and appalling things happening to fairly well off cispeople who are quite pretty. However.
Love, Actually affirms that human behavior is complicated and generally terrible. It affirms that sometimes you find someone you want to be with, who wants to be with you, and it still doesn’t work out. It affirms that sometimes it does. It affirms that sometimes the greatest love of your life isn’t going to be someone you go to bed with.
Specifically, it affirms that you never, ever fuck over Emma Thompson. That if you need to cry, Joni Mitchell is gonna do it. That one of the most celebratory things a human being can do is shake their own ass to the Pointer Sisters. Finally, that the better decision is to throw your phone out the window and always, always fuck Karl.