Last Friday was Red Nose Day here in the UK, the biennial day dedicated to the charity Comic Relief (which Love Actually writer-director, Richard Curtis, is also a founder of) which does brilliant work to help those in need around the world. The highlight of this day is the all night telethon which features sketches and special films, all in aid of raising money.
One of the top films of this year was a mini-Love Actually sequel, featuring many of the original stars including Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Lúcia Moniz, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Keira Knightley, Chiwitel Ejofor, Liam Neeson, Andrew Lincoln, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson. Plus some special guests…
The 10-minute video picked up on the lives of these characters 14 years on from when we last saw them. Don’t expect a genuine sequel, more of a meta-homage, with each moment essentially being a repeat of an iconic part of the film, but with a new twist. It is quite surreal seeing Hugh Grant recreating his dance sequence but to Hotline Bling, with the added joke of how his age might affect his ability to move. His other standout moment is an update of his Prime Minister’s speech, a moving moment that was especially on message in light of the horrific event that occurred in London a few days earlier.
Other segments also became updated versions of classic scenes. Nighy’s radio interview is pretty much the same template, but with more current answers. Atkinson’s gift-wrapping of a red nose is predictably hilarious. Lincoln’s Mark’s hopes set out in his first card sequence have seemingly come true, and Firth’s character’s Portugese is still pretty terrible.
Those who haven’t followed Sangster will get a shock to see him as the adult he is now, but his moment with Neeson remains pretty tender and poignant.
Each of the cast seamlessly steps back into their roles, and while it may have been more homage than sequel, it works incredibly well. Evoking laughter and nostalgia in equal measure, it will delight fans, and is a nice way to catch up with characters without risking the probably dilution from a full-blown sequel.
And it is for a really great cause.
You can still donate to Comic Relief at: https://www.comicrelief.com/node/88
It also appears that the American broadcast of Red Nose Day Actually will feature more of the cast including Laura Linney, and now apparently with the addition of Patrick Dempsey this time around.