Queer Actually

Roxy Bourdillon reimagines a Christmas classic


Published:

 

It’s that time of year again. The streets are full of shoppers festively screaming at each other, the Amazon delivery guy is weeping on the pavement – a broken man with a broken back – and you’re settling down on the sofa with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (it’s not Terry’s, it’s yours) to watch Love Actually, a film that celebrates love in all its forms. All its heterosexual forms, that is, because “love is all around”, but only if you’re straight. Richard Curtis’ Crimbo classic features dozens of characters, and not one of them is queer. That’s not just disappointing, it’s statistically unlikely. What about Pat, the Prime Minister’s housekeeper? Come on Curtis, you couldn’t have made Pat a lez?

 

Love Actually is as straight, actually, as my mum wishes I was. But did you know that the crowd-pleasing flick originally included a same-sex love story? Naturally, one of the sisters of Sappho died, because nothing says Christmas cheer like Dead Lesbian Syndrome. Curtis took burying his gays to a whole new level. He went to all the trouble of shooting our death scenes, and then killed our storyline too, like some sadistic patriarchal puppeteer.

 

The lack of queer characters isn’t the only rage-inducing factor in the film. For starters, everyone wears polo necks and still finds each other attractive! (Bonus drinking game: every time someone wears a polo neck, take a swig – you’ll be wankered before Hugh Grant has dad-danced his way round Number 10.)

 

The thing is, even though the accepted wisdom is that Love Actually is Crap Actually, that it’s sexist and problematic and clichéd and all of those other qualities movie execs look for in the next box office smash, I still love it. I know it isn’t good for me, but like scoffing all my advent calendar choccies on November 15th, I just can’t help myself. But chin and bottoms and Terry’s Chocolate Orange up, because I present the festive rom-com of your lady-loving fantasies – Queer Actually...

 

We open on the airport and it’s full of lesbians and bi women hugging and kissing and scissoring as Prime Minister Ellen DeGeneres booms over the tannoy, “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that queers actually are all around.” Hear that, Curtis? We’re all around so put us in your goddamn deeply flawed, irresistibly watchable films! All of a sudden, Shane McCutcheon swaggers through the arrivals gate with nothing but a backpack full of strap-ons, on a quest to meet British women to hook up with. We form an orderly queue.

 

@Roxy_Vintage

 

Find out what happens next in the December issue of DIVA, available to buy in print or digitally here.

 

 

Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

 

divadigital.co.uk // divadirect.co.uk

 

Edit ModuleEdit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Do you want to see Wings on the silver screen?

Audrey and Dora have fallen in love; but when World War II ends, Audrey’s husband returns and so must "normality"

Go your own way

"My advice to you is that it’s your timeline. Answer to nobody. You don’t have to fit in a box"

On why Anne Lister should have her own statue

"Why has Halifax never celebrated their most illustrious daughter?"

Coming out over Christmas dinner

Some perfectly useless scenarios for your #Queermas enjoyment...

Add your comment:
Edit Module

Follow Us

    

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags