The night has finally arrived: The Red Nose Day-themed Love Actually sequel is here on U.S. soil and ready for us to soak up with nostalgic joy. The primary point of the Love Actually sequel, titled Red Nose Day Actually this time around, is that we get to see where some of our favorite characters have ended up.
I’ll tell you up front that the only major letdown about this sequel was that every scene was, like, only 2 damn minutes long. What gives, Love Actually? Scenes were devoted to specific sets of characters and we rarely returned to them, which meant the check-ins were quite quick. If you’re as big a fan of the original film as I am, then you may have been left feeling a bit sad at this. But have no fear; I bring you glad tidings that the prime minister saved this sort-of-sequel in style.
Perhaps the single greatest reveal of Red Nose Day Actually is where Hugh Grant’s character, the prime minister of the U.K., has ended up after 14 years — yes, 14 long, long years — off our radar. His scene opens on the cool, sexy beats of a little Drake song called “Hotline Bling”; ever heard of it? His back is turned to the camera and his bum starts to get a little shake to it. Oh yeah, the PM is deep in the groove, and Drake’s barely begun to sing. This is going to be jolly good fun.
As “Hotline Bling” really gets going, we get to watch the prime minister jam around No. 9 Downing Street (the prime minister’s official residence over in London). It’s a delightful callback to the prime minister’s “Jump for My Love” dance in the original Love Actually that will surely have fans of the first film whooping in delight.
Of course, time has aged our sweet prime minister. As he twirls and grooves to “Hotline Bling,” his twirl has a bit too much momentum and he throws himself down the stairs, hurting his back in the process. He hobbles around No. 9 a little bit because, as one might expect, the old man feels those aches and pains a bit more now that he’s older and grayer.
Luckily, it’s revealed that he’s still with Natalie, his former secretary and now his wife. She comes in and asks if he’s been dancing to “Hotline Bling” again (the prime minister wistfully sighs and confirms it) before offering him a cup of tea. Oh, you two.
That wasn’t the only big Love Actually sequel reveal, though. Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightley recreated the infamous cue cards scene from Love Actually. This time, Lincoln’s character, Mark, has brought cue cards to semi-gloat, semi-update Knightley’s Juliet about his life nowadays. Sigh.
Using those still-weird-AF cue cards, Mark asks Juliet if she likes his beard (she doesn’t) and if she knows who he married (she doesn’t know that either). Mark reveals he’s married model Kate Moss, indicating that he’s long since gotten over Juliet. She’s still with her husband, Peter, by the way.
There’s also a quick check-in with Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz). The author and his feisty partner have a huge, happy family, and Aurelia reveals in Portuguese that they’re expecting another baby. Of course, Jamie’s Portuguese is still rusty, so he thinks she’s asking what they want to have for dinner.
Laura Linney’s character, Sarah, is shown pulling a later night at the office. When her phone rings, she answers and calls the person on the other line “Darling.” You’re led to think it’s her brother, with whom she always used that pet name in Love Actually. However, we now learn that she’s married to an unnamed character played by Patrick Dempsey. Go, Sarah!
Another delightful reveal is about Liam Neeson’s character, Daniel, and his stepson, Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). They meet up at the special bench where they used to discuss Sam’s love life when he was a kid. Happily, Sam reveals that after moving to New York City, he met up with Joanna (the American girl at his school with whom he was so in love, he learned to play drums for her) and they’re going to get married.
Even though these scenes were only a few minutes long, it was kind of a treat to be able to check in on this beloved, ragtag bunch. After 14 years, Love Actually is still proof that no matter how old you get, you’re never too old for love. We just wish it were more of a movie than a series of 2-minute clips.