Saturday, July 26, 2008

My friends Rob and Lucy (and the great Love Actually vs. Collateral debate)

A couple of times a year I get to catch up with my good friend Rob and his girlfriend Lucy. These two have been living in Papua New Guinea for the last 18 months working with Save the Children and helping to stem the spread of HIV. It's noble, harrowing work and they are saints for what they do. I always have particularly interesting chats with Rob, who is incredibly academic, about various topics many of which make me feel guilty for not being equally as saint like. However, one great thing we have in common is an affinity for finely crafted film whether it be something strange from Pedro Almodovar or a Michael Mann creation. He's churning through some amazing box sets at the moment (best directors) and seems to think it's not only entertaining to do so but vital for film appreciation. I agree, even though I'm usually a bit more shallow in my choices.

However, over a frosty beer and some rather loud pub music, I discovered that Rob and Lucy have an ongoing argument about film. These two, who are top academics in their fields of study, almost regularly debate the virtues of Love Actually vs. Collateral, two films that aren't even in the same realm of comparison. This is how it happened.

Upon seeing Love Actually, Rob could not disguise his ultimate hatred of the film while Lucy adored it. Their debate raged on and on over the sappy ultimate rom-com set at Christmas time and starring, well, everyone. I have to admit, I'm hard pressed to find someone (even blokes) who dislike Love Actually, but Rob talks about it with disgust, as though it was personal. That movie shot his dog. Then the two went to see Collateral, a film which Rob believes is legendary yet Lucy despised just as much as Rob did Love Actually. She even reportedly said, "That was the Love Actually for boys".

I myself love both films for entirely different reasons, so became incredibly amused by the idea that these two films could cause such heated and long-term debate. They're just so different!

The argument rages on as to the merits of each and I'm left on the sidelines shaking my head like a bystander at a fender bender. I don't think I'll ever really understand this one.

What about you? Love Actually or Collateral, actually? Comment below!


Anonymous said...

Good to see you at Tro..Alley Cat. I think you nicked off before I could wave goodbye!

I've only ever seen bits of Love Actually, which means the start and the end.. but I'm sure there's an interesting middle bit that ties it altogether.

And haven't seen Collateral, but I think I was put off by Tom Cruise trying to be edgy.


Jen Reviews Movies said...

Yes it's good there though I wish the music was a lot less volume wise. I think the main reason people go to a place like that is to talk and loud music = no talk!

I was dubious too about Cruise in Collateral but he was GREAT. I really think he's a total nut job in real life but he's a kickass actor. Loved that movie though I also believe it had more to do with Mann's direction.

Love Actually is a very sweet film and a great guilty pleasure. You should try to watch the whole thing sometime!


lucy said...

i would just like to clear up one small error in jen's telling of the story - i really don't like Love Actually - but however did engage in some healthy debate on the subject of whether Love Actually for girls was the same as Collateral for one was a bad rom com and the other a bad action movie but were both purporting to be much more than that - like they were saying something profound and original - when neither of them were....

Big Mike Mendez said...

Love actually hits you in the heart and Collateral hits you in the head.

Jen Reviews Movies said...

Big Mike - Brilliant!

Lucy - I blame Rob, beer and loud music! :)

Jen Reviews Movies said...

Oh and I find neither one bad, and think they accomplished what they set out to. I think Collateral was unique in terms of it's peers but did draw on existing material for inspiration. I just enjoyed them both!

The Mad Hatter said...

I think this one could be boiled down to a classic "guy-movie vs girl-movie"

While I actually dig both, I know lots of guys who can't stand LOVE ACTUALLY and lots of women who hate COLLATERAL.

Yet strangely, both my fiancee and I dug both.

Guess that's a sign we're meant-to-be eh?