Love, Actually

This time of year everyone watches Love, Actually.

That movie is about the entire spectrum of love. That’s why the film works. That’s why I love it. It resonates with me on so many levels.

Once someone said “I don’t understand Laura Linney’s character, she’s running from love.” I could only respond with a confused look because she’s not running away from love at all. She needs to strike some balance in her life but she loves greatly and bravely – in a way that most people never would.

If you’re unfamiliar, Linney’s character is the one who takes care of her schizophrenic brother. She’s there for him when he needs her – when he’s scared that the world is after him, she’s there for him when he’s trapped in his mind and cannot get out – and she’s there for him on Christmas, not because he has no one else, but because she loves him.

For some people it’s impossible to imagine that a love like can exist outside of a romantic relationship. We coo over stories where marriages transcend the dementia of Alzheimer’s. Our psyche’s can process that because it’s within the context of a romance

But love is bigger than romance.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine giving so much to someone out of pure love. A lot of people think that kind of dedication only comes out of obligation or a sense of responsibility. But it doesn’t. It is completely possible to love someone so much – to cherish someone so much – that you will freely care for them when they are wounded – for however long that wounds lasts.

Love is good and true love is hard. Sometimes true love means giving up that hot guy in your bedroom. I’ve walked out relationships because someone I loved asked me to. There are some bonds that transcend the trappings of this material world so much that you’d change the direction of your life for them. That’s what happens in Love, Actually. It’s not sad, it’s not loss – it’s love, actually.

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